Any landing without incident or disassembly is a good one.
SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft safely returned to the Earth today, dropping into the Atlantic Ocean following a successful mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission, dubbed Demo-1, kicked off just under a week ago with the launch of the crew-capable Dragon capsule aboard a Falcon 9 booster, and subsequent …
And as the pilot joke continues it's just a bonus if you can re-use the vehicle.
I'm surprised he didn't send up a space cheese though. Surely he must have eaten the last one by now? Or if not that, then a
bottle case of port.
Also suprised by the boring name of the recovery ship. Couldn't find a Banks ship called Finders Keepers, so how about the Just Read The Instructions?
Good point! I'd forgotten they'd already used that name.
How about the GCU Very Little Gravitas Indeed? That might suit Musk's Twitter persona rather nicely. Or would that be Unacceptable Behaviour?
Excession was my favourite book, and Ethics Gradient my favourite name.
I don't think the [insert name of navy] got that memo
And even that bastion of tradition known as the Royal Navy does it - quite a few ships captured from the French during the Napoleonic wars got renamed when brought into service. I don't think the tradition counts when applied to a vessel bought/stolen from another navy..
Think that's bad? I now work with people who weren't born when I first started doing what I do for a living as a civilian. Had a military career (sadly, not until retirement,) started working in my field as a civilian, THEN their parents started knocking boots. I try not to think about it...
The worst is working as a high school sports official. Every year I get older, every year they're still 18... They play pre-game motivational songs where I'm the only one on the field alive when the song originally came out, including coaches these days, sheesh.
"I do think some further work is needed on the stability of the chutes. They were squidding a lot, and seemed to interfere with each others stability. Not to the point of collapse but once or twice they seemed to get close to it."
I spotted this as well...so, good call. :-)
Am not sure why (at this time) 3 people downvoted you though ?
"Perhaps because parachutes are one of the most mature technologies in landing heavy loads from height. The technology not only works reliably on Earth, it demonstrably works on other planets and moons."
You'd be surprised just how much we don't quite understand about parachute behaviour and canopy stability. Why they can suddenly become unstable and squid/collapse completely is still very much an incompletely solved problem. Especially the way several large canopies over a spacecraft interact and interfere with each other is very VERY complicated. The canopies certainly weren't as stable as they should have been.
(Mains open at 2:59 on Apollo 12 and 2:46 on Apollo 17, footage is a bit overexposed, but it's the best you're gonna get with the tech of the time. Notice how on Apollo the parachutes, once open remain roughly the same diameter? They're not opening and closing, changing diameter, breathing or squidding? Yes, they are interacting and bouncing against one another, and twirling around, but this stabilises rather quickly and they all find their own plane as it descents. Now compare it to the SpaceX footage. On the Crew Dragon you can see that once open the mains keep opening and closing/squidding. They also keep bouncing off each other and keep changing their downplane angles. At one point one of the chutes comes very close to having such an acute angle it might collapse. (See at 8:50 in this video and watch the edge of the left side chute. The rear right edge is also going flaccid) This happens multiple times during the descent.
It's actually even something SpaceX itself mentioned as being one of the open questions and points of nervousness in both the docking and hatch closing webcasts (And I think I've heard it mentioned during the re-entry webcast too)!
I'm not sure GPS would be the limiting factor regarding landing accuracy. Ships and planes managed to navigate pretty accurately without it.
I would have thought it was more the control / thruster technology along with the limited meteorology.
Upper atmosphere winds can now be measured, modelled in real time and fed back to the craft prior to entry
Doubtless the 60s and 70s capability was pretty crude to non existent by todays standards.
"Congratulations on doing what the Nazis did 80 years ago - but this time with parachutes and missing London." (also missing Antwerp)
The joke's a decent one, but: those A4/V2 rockets couldn't put anything into orbit, had pretty iffy guidance systems (which were admittedly highly advanced for the era), and a tendency to fall apart on re-entry. And while some might describe Elon Musk as a metaphorical slave-driver given the way he expects his employees to work, SpaceX does not really use slave labour to build its space hardware, unlike certain Third Reichs I can think of.
The BBC had a programme to reproduce the destructive effects of various WW2 bombs and missiles.
They had a building designed to show the effects of nearby explosions as the war progressed. Finally to emulate the V2 they buried an equivalent amount of explosive for the 1 ton warhead. The depth was calculated to be how far the missile would penetrate before the detonation sequence had completed after contact with the ground.
When they detonated the explosives - the building suffered no real damage compared with previous bombs. What happened was that an enormous amount of earth was ejected high into the air over a large area. This verified the wartime reports that victims were often killed by being buried under the falling earth.
I am now looking at an original edition of the "News Chronicle" "Late London Edition" dated Saturday, November 11 1944. The headline is "V2: HERE ARE THE ROCKET SECRETS".
The V2 launching sites were now being overrun by the Allied advances. Following Churchill's speech about it the previous day - they could now publish some of the withheld damage pictures. Government policy had been to keep a lid on news of the attacks to prevent the Germans knowing how they were ranging.
There is also a short technical description that would have sounded like science-fiction to most of their readers. Altitude 60-70 miles; speed > Mach 4; fuel consumption 2,268 gallons a minute; range 240 miles; flight time 4 minutes.
At that time no aeroplane had yet reached Mach 1 which is 1195 km/h (717mph). The Me262 jet could reach over 850 km/h (530 mph).
The wartime newspaper was published as a single fold broadsheet of four printed sides. It has been stored folded in quarters. As wartime paper was quite acidic it has become brown and fragile at the edges/folds where exposed to light.
A suitably good home for the newspaper's preservation would be considered as it is only slightly older than myself.
The Me262 jet could reach over 850 km/h
And the Me 163 Komet (rocket-powered interceptor) could reach about 1000 km/h - still not Mach 1. And, by all accounts, pretty lethal to the pilots during training (a bit like the Yamaha RD250/350/500 motorbikes - they had such an insane power curve that inexperienced riders often crashed when they hit the power curve for the first time. The RD250 was once described as "expressly designed to power-wheelie learners into roadside furniture"..)
 Those were the days when having a provisional license allowed you to ride a 250cc bike - or much, much bigger if fitted with a side-car. Which lead to the development of 'sidecars' which were effectively just a tea-tray with a wheel and clever springs that allowed the bike to still lean properly.. The 250cc allowance (and sidecar allowance) was removed shortly after.
'The RD250 was once described as "expressly designed to power-wheelie learners into roadside furniture"..)'
A mate of mine had to be the first in the area to own one when they were first released. He picked a brand new one from the dealer then dropped and wrote it off at the first roundabout he came to.
BBC4 TV repeated a 2011 programme recently on "Operation Crossbow". About the way the V1 and V2 threat was perceived and countered using intelligence from 3D aerial photography.
On BBC IPlayer for 26 days from 10 March 2019. Geographically limited viewing.
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