back to article MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

After years of setbacks, SpaceX today successfully launched its Falcon Heavy three-in-one rocket and delivered into orbit its cherry-red payload – Elon Musk's very own Tesla Roadster. After a morning of delays due to high winds, the mighty rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39, in Florida, USA, at …

Awesome

If Elon Musk's anything like me (unlikely, but stay with me) he'll be realising about now that he's left his wallet in the glove box.

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Alert

Don't know if posted already?

The main booster didn't run out of fuel. The rocket(s) failed to ignite on re-entry. The Beeb and the reg appear to have it wrong (source: Ars Technica).

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Re: Don't know if posted already?

The two are not mutually exclusive. I don't know enough about the fuel system to know if fuel starvation might have caused the failure to re-light.

GJC

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Don't know if posted already?

At the time of writing, it was suspected the engines ran out of "fuel." We weren't invited to the press conference. Can't think why. Anyway, SpaceX later clarified it ran out of ignitor fuel.

We've tweaked the article, and another piece is coming.

C.

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Trollface

Full = 1?

Time to get snarky here... One car fills space?

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Ran out of igniter fuel

The center core did not run out of the main fuel. Apparently it ran out of the hypergolic igniter fuel TEA/TEB so that it could not ignite the rocket engines for the landing burn. As a result it crashed into the sea with 500 km/h.

Best regards

Steen

PS. Have a look at the press conference with Elon.

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Re: Ran out of igniter fuel

Firstly, this is an awesome achievement and for any mission this is a win, they have loads of data that can improve the thing(s) that went wrong.

Visually, on the landing descent, the centre core looked like it was going to slam into the ocean. There's normally a noticeable amount of flame even when the engines aren't fired up - I'm guessing this must be a steady flow of the igniter fuel you mention, this was absent on the centre core to my untrained eyes so it must have run out a fair way before the landing zone.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Ran out of igniter fuel

At the time of writing, it was suspected the engines ran out of "fuel." We weren't invited to the press conference. Anyway, SpaceX later clarified it ran out of ignitor fuel.

We've tweaked the article, and another piece is coming.

C.

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Bronze badge
Alien

All you rocket scientists out there

Assuming that the video feed from the car continues indefinitely, at what point will it have to stop to buffer owing to time delay?

Or will the stream just get a little slower every now and then? If the music is playing would this be noticed?

I can't get my head around it. Need more coffee.

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Trollface

Kudos for inventing the easiest, simplest and shortest way to explain relativity and time dilation to millennials...

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It's already playing more slowly to us - just imperceptibly so, taking 1.00000000000001 [number made up] seconds on the ground to play 1 second of music from the car. It'll add up to an increasingly long lag.

On the return part of the loop, when it's flying towards us, it'll take 0.9999999999999999 [number made up] seconds on the ground to play 1 second of music as-played-in-car.

It's a bit like Doppler shifting sirens on ambulances going past you.

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Pint

Awesome

Surfing the news and came upon the live feed about 30 seconds before the launch.

Some restrained cheering, plus a heartfelt "fucking hell!" when the two boosters landed.

A big demerit for not having planned to watch it.

Would have been nice to see Pork Hogthrob in the passenger seat, though.

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Re: Awesome

That's Link Hogthrob. Capt. Hogthrob to you.

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Facepalm

Re: Awesome - Link correction

Posted in haste, just found time to come back and correct it.

Thanks for picking it up :-)

Upvoted.

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Joke

GPS

Actually Elon had nothing to do with it. The driver was simply trying to get to Albuquerque and blindly following his GPS..

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Re: GPS

was he using Apple Maps?

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TRT
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Re: GPS

Marvin the Martian: You should've turned left at Albuquerque...

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Facepalm

Re: GPS

Apple Maps even at its worst has absolutely *nothing* on the howlers the Tesla SatNav can perpetrate.

Fortunately, I hear there's a completely new SatNav application due to land Real Soon Now, and being an honourable company Tesla will roll it out to all their cars using the OTA update mechanism.

GJC

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Re: GPS

"Fortunately, I hear there's a completely new SatNav application due to land Real Soon Now, and being an honourable company Tesla will roll it out to all their cars using the OTA update mechanism."

Hopefully the space Tesla will still be in range for the OTA update, or it might get lost.

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Coat

Re: GPS

was he using Apple Maps?

Major TomTom doesn't use Apple!

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Pint

Re: GPS

@Geoff Campbell

Hopefully not at 480 km/h though

More seriously, the video of two boosters landing like that from a single launch has to be the coolest fucking thing that I've ever seen. Amazing job to all involved and hope that the BFR/BFS works out even better.

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Re: GPS

Hell yes. An amazing show.

GJC

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Re: GPS

"Hopefully the space Tesla will still be in range for the OTA update, or it might get lost."

It got lost - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/07/spacex_telsa_roadster_asteroids/

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Re: GPS

Any idea how soon? For now I'm sticking my trusty N9 to the dash so I can get reliable routing. Tesla's own routes me down B roads; in Devon that's a bit stressful in a wider than average car.

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Re: GPS

Last I heard was "Early 2018", although I have seen people claiming that Tesla said "January 2018", but I've seen no evidence of that myself.

Either way, it probably won't be long now. Say, middle of next year...

GJC

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Coat

Wow.

When the signs at Space X say "NO PARKING - TOW AWAY ZONE" they aren't bluffing...

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Coat

The crew of the ISS are now looking at each other asking "who ordered the Uber?"

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Anonymous Coward

fake moon landing

good job but the boosters landing looked fake. For something so impressive just one static camera shot.

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BFR wrong

BFR means big falcon rocket, not big *&$%"* rocket. Unnecessary language from the register.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BFR wrong

Fuck off

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Thumb Up

Re: BFR wrong

Swearing isn't big, and it isn't clever.

...

...

...although it's sometimes very funny...

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Re: BFR wrong

It was initially Big Fucking Rocket, in homage to the BFG 9000 in DooM.

It has been retrospectively Stalined to something more in the Party Line. And also something that I'm happy to discuss with my 8-year-old kids, who stayed up to watch the launch.

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Windows

Re: BFR wrong

@ johnx

Even if the marketing paperwork says Big Falcon Rocket, its still one big fucking rocket, dude.

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Anonymous Coward

Some good photos to throw at the flat earthers

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The photos do show a flat Earth, though.

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One of the best headlines, very good.

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Why stop at a Tesla Roadster?

How about a double-decker bus? - say, a Bristol VR?

... as in Virtual Reality?

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Could Musk be more of an anglophile?

British car - check(ish)

British music - check

British book - check x 2 (3 if you include the name of the drone barge)

Dummy named after British rock god - check

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Re: Could Musk be more of an anglophile?

The absolute give away, though, is if his car doesn't run on petrol, or if it doesn't run on gas.

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Re: Could Musk be more of an anglophile?

Furry dice hanging from the mirror and "Gaz & Shaz" printed on a turquoise vinyl windscreen sticker?

No check. Fail.

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GCU Arbitrary

Loved this. Spot on too. Pity it was a Tesla and not Diziet Sma in a Volvo!

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Re: GCU Arbitrary

It was, however a roadster. AKA a spyder. On Mars.

Excellent.

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Nah, that's not heavy lift. *This* is heavy lift...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

"Super" Orion would have lifted 8M tons to Mars compared to 17 tons for Falcon Heavy ;-)

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Yeah, but not sure I want to be left behind on any planet a few of those took off from.

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Core stage failed to land when it ran out of TEA/TEB ignitor, NOT fuel.

Elon Musk gave said in the news conference that they had run out of TEA/TEB (triethylaluminium / trielthylborane) ingnitor mix, so only one of the 3 engines started on the final approach. Reports of propellant running out are incorrect and being widely reported.. as usual. El Reg can do better! Running out of tea seems so HHGttG though...

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Core stage failed to land when it ran out of TEA/TEB ignitor, NOT fuel.

At the time of writing, it was suspected the engines ran out of fuel. We weren't invited to the press conference. Can't think why. Anyway, it ran out of ignitor, so... close enough, ish. We've tweaked the article and another piece is coming.

C.

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Anonymous Coward

It nearly worked

To be fair the central core nearly made it back intact, this is merely proof that the technology can be improved.

One intriguing thing I did read is that the Falcon engines are made of materials that did not exist in 1967. A lot of the problems with the Russian N-1 were simple engineering issues such as not having filters on the fuel line(s) and with time could have been fixed.

The N1 had a lift capacity 1.3* that of the Falcon Heavy but was not intended to be reusable.

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Re: It nearly worked

I suspec the reusability aspect is going to get fudged over time. The landings look great but I'm not convinced of the long term viability versus some kind of 3D printing base production line.

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Wrong track...

The obvious choice would have been Don Felder's Takin' A Ride (from the film Heavy Metal) rather than Space Oddity.

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Sending it Mars?

The real trick would have been to have brought it back and parked it on his drive.

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