Fingers crossed twiddling of thumbs at NASA ends soon, and the test can go ahead
SpaceX took another step toward sticking humans atop its Falcon 9 rocket as one of the units, equipped with a crew version of the Dragon spacecraft, was erected at pad 39A at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. The Falcon 9 went vertical at 2230 UTC last night to allow engineers to check all connections line up as expected. Once …
Sorry, I think someone at El Reg needs to get laid.
Or they are just being lazy and not creative.
I mean how hard is it to make out the rocket as a phallic symbol?
Really, that's lazy. We need some creatives people!!! Its Friday and unlike us Yanks, you Brits drink during lunch.
I'd done the flame retardant jacket, but hey! I'm the guy who's poking the bear.
I think you have it backwards.
Yes I said you Brits drink at lunch, Yanks don't.
Of course this observation was done a couple years back, although it tapered off when even one drink would put you over the legal limit... unless you could walk to the pub ...
> Looking to the right side... when will that thing star to shout Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!?!!
Just as soon as someone plugs in the toilet plunger
My first thought when I saw that thing was that if someone painted a smile on it's "top" it wouldn't look out of place in the next Star Wars film.
Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that Elon is trying to replicate all of the technology in "Oath of Fealty"?
Mine's the one with the 27-year old paperback in the pocket
Well this *isn't* an SF forum.
But I think you might be surprised to learn how many know of Larry Niven, got the reference but didn't feel the need to point out how to understand it. He was widely published by Sphere, if memory serves, in the UK. Sphere were a major quality paperback SF outlet during Niven's early career.
I take some of that back - in the 'Best Sci-Fi films never made' article in 2011 by the much missed Lester Haines, no less than 6 Niven or Niven/Pournelle books are listed.
Someone must have got the hint as some of Lester's list have since been filmed.
I hope that NASA don't disappoint me!
If we're going to have a test of whether the escape system can work on rocket failure - I'm going to be very sad if they just simulate that failure. I would much prefer to see a launch where NASA have strategically sabotaged the rocket, so that it will explode at an unpredictable time - thus fully testing the systems in question - and entertaining us with large fireworks.
A launchpad RUD is hugely expensive to repair, so in this scenario they would want the 'unexpected' bang to happen after it has left the field.
I doubt that they'll commission a giant firework though - much simpler to 'abort' from a static, unfuelled, test rocket. Ground level is also the most difficult to abort from (certainly in aeroplane ejector-seat systems) as you have to boost up before you can parachute down. So it could be argued as being a more thorough test, even if it's less satisfying to the lay observer.
Ideally, I want something like the early failure images/video from NASA in the 50s. A lot of which mirrors the original German video from testing at Peenemunde. My ideal test would be a rocket that launches to a few hundred feet - then suffers a (in this case deliberate) control failure and so cartwheels and then flies back into the ground - creating a very large explosion.
Sadly replicating this might have rather severe consequences for the various facilites at KSC - but it wouldn't half be pretty.
I suppose taxpayers might legitimately complain about the cost as well.
The in flight abort is scheduled for later this Spring and will use the same DM-1 capsule. The first stage has yet to be identified. The plan is to demonstrate the abort at MaxQ, triggering the sequence in the most stressful part of the launch profile. I've heard two versions of how it might happen. First, just send an abort command at MaxQ and see what happens. Second, detonate the first stage (tricking the AFTS or through planted explosives?) at MaxQ and let the abort computers do their thing. It'll be fireworks whichever method is used.
(Icon for blowing stuff up)
My understanding is that they will shutdown the booster engines at MaxQ so the Dragon sees it as a booster failure and triggers the abort. The reasoning is that if the first stage of the booster blew up the engines would stop instantly or if the unexpected drop in acceleration is because the second stage has disintegrated (again)….. it's time to abort before the first stages catches up.
There are of course many other mechanisms that could trigger the abort with or without a change in acceleration. You can't test everything live.
I doubt that they'll commission a giant firework though - much simpler to 'abort' from a static, unfuelled, test rocket.
They did a pad-abort test a few years back.
This abort test will involve blowing up a booster in-flight at or around Max-Q which is the most difficult point to abort at - although you have altitude, the capsule is also bearing the brunt of the aerodynamic forces, pressing it back onto the exploding booster that you're trying to separate from!
Quote:If we're going to have a test of whether the escape system can work on rocket failure - I'm going to be very sad if they just simulate that failure. I would much prefer to see a launch where NASA have strategically sabotaged the rocket, so that it will explode at an unpredictable time - thus fully testing the systems in question - and entertaining us with large fireworks.
SpaceX have already done the pad abort test. fun watching the capsule goto 300 mph and 1500 ft in a couple of seconds.
The inflight abort test (coming soon)is strapping the capsule to a falcon 9, launching the thing, then hitting the abort button at max-q
Whether the falcon 9 can still land.. or be intact after this is anyones guess
boeing have done neither test....
And of course, the timing of everything depends on how long it is until trump has finished having his tantrum.
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We all know about the LHC. Well lets take that tech and shrink it down make it straight and have a plasma drive with a small nuclear plant to power the magnetic fields and to force the particle collisions. Then when they collide funnel the reaction with a magnetic field to the tail end. Then we don't go to mars but do an expedition out of the solar system and take a look around interstellar space and take a ton of reading because with a drive like this you could move a large mass at high speed and under constant thrust you'd be moving very fast while passing Jupiter and would be slowing down the rest of the way. Hell with the nuclear fuel and the tiny amount of fuel needed for plasma reactions you could do a lot of stuff on just one trip and go many places also and not just out and send back info but investigate a lot of stuff and with pilots you could maneuver better since you don't have minutes spent before a maneuver is received or have to preprogram everything before the mission. Hell give them some charts and goals and let them explore and just have a large earth side beacon so they can find their way home.
Sending real humans into space will be a huge milestone for SpaceX and commercial space flight in general. I've been looking forward to it ever since I first heard of Dragon. Once they pull it off I think things will get very interesting.
Best of luck to all involved.
At least some observers in the US are speaking of a Boeing takeover of DoD. With Shanahan taking over as acting SecDef, and Boeing getting green-lighted for billions of dollars worth of arguably dodgy aerial refueling tanker contracts, maybe there is a grain of truth in this view.
Makes you wonder about the future of SpaceX's DoD heavy lift contracts. More to the point, Boeing's lifters will likely get some sizeable chunks of taxpayer wealth - regardless of performance.
Would be fun to watch, except my taxes are paying for all this.
The naming for some of the tech is worth a chuckle, I agree, but surely the award for Most Egregiously Inflated Testiculation¹ goes to Virgin Galactic—it has the most yoogest bigly name ("galactic") yet it is the least serious and useful of any of the current "space" endeavours, being unable even to get into orbit. It just flies up, makes some rich halfwits sick—just as Nasa's "Vomit Comet" has been doing for half a century—and then (we hope) at least occasionally brings them back alive to get a I Are Big Astronut badge fresh from Dickie's cereal box. What a pity the money is being wasted on such a pointless stunt when it could be invested in real spaceflight.
(And yes, you have to hope the DoD sups with an even longer spoon where Boeing is concerned ... the revolving door has never yet resulted in a better plane or a better deal for the taxpayer. That said, it's hard to imagine to glee in Moscow and Beijing as they watch America's air power steadily commit Suicide By F-35: Lockheed are even worse than Boeing.)
¹ I saw "testiculation" defined as "Waving one's hands while talking bollocks": sums up the Beardie-inspired Virgin management culture to a tee.
the revolving door has never yet resulted in a better plane or a better deal for the taxpayer
I think you are making a category error wrt to the purpose of the revolving door. I think you will also find that there are several taxpayers for whom it has yielded more than satisfactory results
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