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(io9)   One small hop for SpaceX, a giant leap towards rocket reusability   ( divider line
    More: Spiffy, SpaceX, rocket reusability, launch systems, grasshoppers, rockets, rocket launchers  
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3761 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Dec 2012 at 3:46 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-12-25 01:56:10 PM  
3 votes:
the comments on that site are precious "I wouldn't do it that way", "the DC-X failed, this will fail", "whatever NASA did was perfect, these guys suck", "waste of fuel", "PARACHUTES!!!!"

None of them seem to understand the concept that Space-X is a business and doing research. They might get things wrong, they might get things right. But. Hello. Computer simulations. Do these cretins think that Space-X forgot about computers and actually modelling the rocket first?? Fuel and all?

If the computer models were unable to come even close to doing what a physical model was desired, why would they build one? "Maybe the computer is wrong!!! Let's just waste a ton of money and see if it works anyways!!!"

Seriously kiddies. Can we at least assume that the engineers calculated some numbers?
2012-12-26 06:27:10 AM  
1 vote:

Bisu: Is this supposed to serve as the first stage, then rocket itself all the way back to land vertically? Or will it parachute 95% of the way down then use the rocket for a soft, vertical landing? Is there an article that explains the future plans for this?

This was the original promo video.

I'm thinking that parachutes are unnecessary for unmanned stages.
After slowing down in the atmosphere, the stages hit terminal velocity (200 some miles per hour?), so the engines just have to take you from that to zero in the last thousand feet or so.
Since the rocket has spent almost all its fuel (90% of a space rockets weight), its just one giant empty tank.
The engines should be able to push it around like its nothing on whatever gas is left.
2012-12-26 02:50:01 AM  
1 vote:

lokisbong: Sweet! thanks for the link. I learned a bit more than I planned on today. and that's almost always a good thing.

yah, I had found that link a few months ago and really liked it
god I hate the internets, stupid learning new things everyday??
2012-12-26 02:48:16 AM  
1 vote:

namatad: lokisbong: Probably but I don't know for sure. I have not done the research or the math. Either way I like Mr Musks style.

claims that it was about half the cost/kg of the shuttle
a little more than the proton-M
much less than the other current launch systems
and predicting that future systems will continue to come down lower in price

strange market thingy could continue to happen
any competition could further lower costs and a private company has incentives to continuously improve launch systems to lower costs and improve profits.

only took us 50 years to get here but it looks like commercial space flight is taking off
too lazy to rewrite that

Sweet! thanks for the link. I learned a bit more than I planned on today. and that's almost always a good thing.
2012-12-26 12:07:15 AM  
1 vote:

maltedmothball: Quantum Apostrophe: We've already tried reusable rockets. Didn't work. We are here. We will always be here. No amount of sci-fi go-go cheerleading will change that.

cynical, but succinct. I can respect that.

Powered flight was tried many times and didn't work. That's why airplanes don't exist today.
2012-12-25 10:09:18 PM  
1 vote:

StopLurkListen: rwfan: StopLurkListen: i ew

"The two reusable SRBs provided the main thrust to lift the shuttle off the launch pad and up to an altitude of about 150,000 ft (28 mi; 46 km) ... Seventy-five seconds after SRB separation, SRB apogee occurred at an altitude of approximately 220,000 ft (42 mi; 67 km); parachutes are then deployed and impact occurred in the ocean approximately 122 nautical miles (226 km) downrange, after which the two SRBs are recovered."

you're not familiar with the difference between a solid [fueled] rocket and a liquid fueled rocket, are you?

Yes. Something was being reused on the SRB though, it wasn't entirely a single-serving entity.

Its the containment for the fuel. The whole tube.
Solid fuel is nice because its always ready to go, keeps well, gives you instant thrust and is very reliable.
Problem is its difficult to control and a pain to transport.
Each of those fuel sections had to be hauled down from Alabama by train and assembled with painstaking care. The shuttle had to be transported upright, requiring the specialized crawler and road, but she was heavier out the door.

Compared to the falcon or Saturn V, the shuttle wastes a lot of weight. This added cost and limited its missions. They spent enough fuel on each launch to put a man on the moon but only got 25 tons of cargo to orbit.

/There as a lot of room for improvement.
/but a temporary patch became the permanent system.
2012-12-25 07:46:56 PM  
1 vote:

natazha: When NASA took over the DC-X project, their main goal was to modify it until it failed. In it's last test, it lifted, had an explosion due to human error. Then it moved horizontally, landed and fell over. NASA's take was: "See it doesn't work!"

Musk will make this work.

There are two kinds of people at NASA and one of them likes cushy job security and getting paid more than advancing the human race. JSC is chock full of lefties who think the people of the USA owe them a check for graduating school.
2012-12-25 05:55:36 PM  
1 vote:

Quantum Apostrophe: We've already tried reusable rockets. Didn't work. We are here. We will always be here. No amount of sci-fi go-go cheerleading will change that.

QA, there's Space Nuttery, (guilty-- at least somewhat) and then there's "Anti-Space-Nuttery" Nuttery... you're really crossing the line with this one. Are you saying we shouldn't attempt innovation in putting things into orbit???

Did you really say "we've already tried..." "Didn't work"???
Did you really MEAN to?

Not that it matters, the crazy billionaire (Bond villian?) doesn't care what you or anybody else thinks.

/He's just one fake volcano away from "You Only Live Twice" here.
2012-12-25 05:38:25 PM  
1 vote:
Nuclear Stuff now.
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