What a team!
Real enginering. Find a problem - deal with it. Find another - deal with that too. Target stays in sight. These guys just don't give up!
On January 6, SpaceX will launch a critical supply mission to the International Space Station, but just as important as what is going up is what’ll (hopefully) come down. The CRS-5 mission was due to have taken place this month but the launch was delayed to allow NASA to add vitally needed supplies that were destroyed when …
What is really impressive is that SpaceX was founded with only $100M
hm, I just found that behind the back of the sofa…
As impressive as the work of the company has been (comparisons with the competitors such as Orbital Sciences are welcome) when it comes to money there is the small matter of a large NASA contract. This doesn't mean that I want to detract in any way from the quality of the team and the innovative work they've done. I wish them every success.
Here's hoping that it all works. If it does, I've got a feeling that the collective 'squee!' from the SpaceX fanboys will be heard at deafening levels.
And if it does, the next question will be, 'Why weren't we doing this back in the late 80's or early 90's?'
And the question after that will be, 'When is the Falcon Heavy going to fly?'
And after that, 'When are we sending stuff to Mars?'
It's been a long time coming but, finally, the future's here.
Simple answer to why we weren't doing this in the 80's/90's is computing power vs computing mass, image recognition, and CAD - every prototype would have needed to be built and tested rather than all the obvious failures been found in the computer simulations before building them. All of the above change the time to develop this sort of thing and increase the cost massively.
It is interesting to note that we were able to use a well developed technology to build the shuttle, namely aerodynamics.
If only we had a few more Elon Musks and a few less Kim Kardashians
with job titles of Television Personality...and a few less Nigel Farages too.
If you compare Elon Musk's goals in life to Nigel Farage, you realise what a narrow minded, border obsessed, border racist twerp Farage is, you don't solve engineering problems like this by looking at someones ethnic origin, and sticking up a fence.
genetic evidence suggests that the one is necessary for the other...
We are all born to parents we have no choice over.
All that counts is what we can do with the time we are given (yes I know that's a LOTR quote, but it doesn't make it less true....).
Paris, because , well, genetics...?
Given the technical issues of landing on the barge, possible bad weather, rough sea etc., why don't they go for a landing on land? Somewhere big and flat, like a dried up salt lake? No inhabitants to worry about if you miss a bit, bar the odd land speed record bods, hot, dry, and a very large area to land on. In the long term spaceplanes are going to have to land at a spaceport. The Heathrow Shuttle is bad enough, passengers aren't going to want a lengthy trip ashore in an old ferry.
I'm genuinely curious - the russians always land on land. Anyone know?
I would imagine it's to do with trajectory, time and speed. As Russia is absolutely massive in the right direction. Also consider that they are launching from Florida and going east to gain an acceleration boost from the rotation of the earth. Unless they reach Europe or africa, there isn't much land to land on.
Finally, as this is still in prototype stage, if something goes wrong they can just ditch the stage and try next time. Over land you need to worry about what it's going to hit if it doesn't work.
"As Russia is absolutely massive in the right direction."
I suspect that this is it. It's not so much a matter of hitting the USA. Every 90 minutes or so, the orbit olaces them on a path about 20 degrees longitude over from the last one. Eventually, that path will pass over a suitable (i.e. not private property, farmland or protected habitat) landing site. I can't be bothered to calculate 'eventually', but it could be dozens of orbits, given a small enough site.
With a ship, you just move the landing pad under the desired orbit and go.
Bear in mind that the first stage isn't making orbit --- it's strictly suborbital, with a fairly low apoapsis (although I haven't been able to find the exact figure). Its ability to manoeuvre is limited, basically being a falling metal can aimed about 400km east of the launch site.
I'd say that the most likely reason for using a barge is that's the only way to get a landing site in about the right place. Although I do see that some of the Bahamas are very roughly at the right range, for launches to the south-east. Watch out for SpaceX land acquisitions...
"Europe or africa"
DragonLord, that got me wondering. Cape C and Disney World are at the latitude of southern Morocco. Miami is across from the country of Western Sahara.
Never really thought about it, but the eastern hemisphere "Florida" is in the Sahara desert. "Europe" is across from Canada, not the US. Weird geographic things. Like how South America is south of Greenland, not North America. :)
It has to do with the trajectory of the launch, it would take way too much fuel to bring the booster back over land; that would seriously cut the lift capacity. If I remember correctly, the penalty can be as high as 30%. Landing a returning mission on land is a much simpler process and the amount of fuel needed is mostly a matter of orbital speed.
As a current resident of central Florida, I can tell you that the great majority of the people here are actually quite decent. We do have our share of oddballs, however, and the warm, moist climate seems to attract them for some reason. Despite their fame (thanks to the websites about the exploits of "Florida man/woman"), these are the minority, and it's truly a case of "a few bad apples spoil the bunch."
Falcon heavy center stage will land at sea or far down range of the side stages so sea landings have to be done. Also the us go is wary of land landings in its territory until and unless spacex can prove it's capable of doing it safely.
They use asparagus staging, the outer tanks feed the center tank with a third or so of their total before they fall away so the heavys center can push longer and higher meaning it also goes farther down range while still retaining enough fuel for a controlled landing
Real progress - and at what a pace!
As a kid I'd always assumed that the manned exploration of space was inevitable. Constant incremental improvements in technology enabling us to travel further and further out into the solar system because we could, and because the momentum was there.
Then as an adult, the sucker punch as I realised that no such thing was likely to happen in my lifetime.
Putting robots on Mars has been seven flavours of awesome, but without any political drive to put people further out into space it always seemed likely that the manned side of space exploration was effectively over. Forever.
And then SpaceX appeared on the scene - Game on!
The real cause of NASA's slow progress is the US congress, as in very few congress critters have space related companies in their districts, plus its so easy to attack the 'waste' of sticking 20 billion dollars into NASA , while all the time defending the 750 billion dollar defence budget , which if anyone asks about you can attack for being "unpatroitic" and "not supporting our troops"... even though you just cut the VA benefits by 1/3.
Plus the fact any space related research effort is never going to be built/finished in your term of power so since you're never going to reap the political benefit... why bother.?
And over this side of the water the pigs(mps) have their faces in the trough so much they've forgotten to howto look up any more.
The very first book my Mom put into my little hands, after I showed her I could read, was "Rocket Ship Galileo." To say I'm very underwhelmed by what NASA has accomplished since 1969 .... Elon Musk has demonstrated that R. A. Heinlein's vision of space as a private (civilian) activity rather than bureaucrat is just icing on the cake. He was dead on about the military half as well.
It's the same as centripetal force, just from the frame of reference inside the object been spun. So what's probably happening is that the centrifugal forces inside the fuel tanks is keeping the fuel against the wrong part of the tank for the pumps to work (considering that this stage is designed to work with the acceleration forces to resolve towards the thrusters rather than the walls)
Its all very nice but we need a different technology to get us out of the earths gravity field.
So, how about Elon Musk getting together with this guy?
Warp drives ain't gonna come out of garages dude. They most probably won't come from anywhere, ever. (Yeah, Alcubierre Blah Blah Blah. Bullshit. Guess what, if I had the power to warp space at will, negatively not at my current location to boot, I could do ten impossible things before breakfast.)
There is no indication in experimental and theoretical physics that any of this is possible. None. Otherwise LHC would rip unicorns out of the vacuum.
> Farady cages
> Could Bermuda Triangle pilot’s ‘fog’ have been a space warp?
Perpetuum Mobile tier QUALITY SCIENCE!!!11!
Every _hypothetical_ warp drive is nothing you would ever want to use near a populated planet, ever. Even the proposed (and unfeasible until we find "exotic matter" somewhere) NASA warp bubble is known to basically destroy all living matter in front of it as it decelerates at its destination. You just cannot risk a bubble of warp energy (if it could be created) near a populated planet, not at least until you have so many of them that you can afford to lose one or two to disaster.
Inertialess motors, mass drivers, space elevators, or "clean" nuclear will have to do the heavy lifting, as it where...
This is also true, but this also means that more fuel is spent per unit mass of payload sent into orbit. I don't doubt that SpaceX have sat down and done the numbers and found this to be a cost effective approach. I'm mostly curious as to how drastically this landing system affects payload capacity.
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