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(Slate)   SpaceX Dragon capsule is feeling MUCH better   (slate.com) divider line 39
    More: News, SpaceX Dragon, SpaceX, dragons, oxidants, electrohydrodynamic thruster, Elon Musk, International Space Station, space rendezvous  
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5480 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Mar 2013 at 4:38 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-01 04:43:55 PM
Great that it turned into an example of problem solving on-the-fly instead of a major setback to commercial spaceflight.
 
2013-03-01 04:47:11 PM
Who says it still isn't a major setback?
They got lucky.
 
2013-03-01 04:48:12 PM
It's good to see that Dragon's system is capable of robust operation in the face of unexpected failures. I think this is the single biggest question about their approach, and it would be a deal-breaker for manned flight if people didn't feel safe on their ships.
 
2013-03-01 04:49:21 PM
And we knew that stuff like this was going to happen, that's why IIRC SpaceX is going to send up a new vessel for every launch.  Every time, this gets better, more bugs get worked out and as telemetry is received, things improve.  NASA knows this too, so it's giving SpaceX 12 bites at the apple to prove themselves with non-human transport before they start looking at human transport missions.

All in all, this is a good failure to have.
 
2013-03-01 04:50:37 PM

cretinbob: Who says it still isn't a major setback?
They got lucky.


It's kind of hard to say they got lucky when we still don't know what the problem was.
 
2013-03-01 04:54:38 PM

Comic Book Guy: And we knew that stuff like this was going to happen, that's why IIRC SpaceX is going to send up a new vessel for every launch.  Every time, this gets better, more bugs get worked out and as telemetry is received, things improve.  NASA knows this too, so it's giving SpaceX 12 bites at the apple to prove themselves with non-human transport before they start looking at human transport missions.

All in all, this is a good failure to have.


This ain't rocket scie....oh.
 
2013-03-01 05:00:25 PM

cretinbob: Who says it still isn't a major setback?
They got lucky.


Nah. It's not a question of not having bad things happen, because they will.  The question is, how robust are the systems to failure and how adept at recovery.  SpaceX has shown they are doing a good job at the latter, and I think that's more important than trying to avoid problems altogether, which can never happen.  And it's something the space program hasn't always done well at.
 
2013-03-01 05:00:43 PM

Fubini: cretinbob: Who says it still isn't a major setback?
They got lucky.

It's kind of hard to say they got lucky when we still don't know what the problem was.


Who's "we"? Maybe SpaceX or NASA know but it's not public info. Fixing problems on the fly is part of running a successful operation.
 
2013-03-01 05:01:33 PM

Fubini: cretinbob: Who says it still isn't a major setback?
They got lucky.

It's kind of hard to say they got lucky when we still don't know what the problem was.


The problem's about 6 hours old, I think the enginerds need a little time to go over the telemetry data.  The orbit is relatively stable (and correctable, at least for the moment), and as long as they stay the fark away from the ISS, everyone's happy to go 'round and 'round a few times to get everything right.  It's rare in engineering where you have a problem that you actually have time to see what the root cause was and take your time designing and implementing a proper solution.  It's not like the ISS is going to run out of life support, and fortunately we're not in a Michael Bay movie, so shiat's not going to explode.
 
2013-03-01 05:04:00 PM
There was a stuck valve, according to a different article.
I'm hoping they succeed, but there shouldn't be any "unforseen" failures like this.
 
2013-03-01 05:06:17 PM

cretinbob: There was a stuck valve, according to a different article.
I'm hoping they succeed, but there shouldn't be any "unforseen" failures like this.


Nothing goes perfect all the time. The sheer amount of things needing to go right, or at the very least be correctable is what makes even "routine" launches remarkable.
 
2013-03-01 05:08:45 PM
"Ships are safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for. "

Much the same could be said for planets. As one science fiction author put it, "Planets are for saying goodbye."
 
2013-03-01 05:11:12 PM

cretinbob: I'm hoping they succeed, but there shouldn't be any "unforseen" failures like this.


Ever been involved with starting a company?
 
2013-03-01 05:15:56 PM

cretinbob: Who says it still isn't a major setback?
They got lucky.


That's the spirit!

debbiedowner.jpg
 
2013-03-01 05:21:16 PM

Fubini: cretinbob: Who says it still isn't a major setback?
They got lucky.

It's kind of hard to say they got lucky when we still don't know what the problem was.




We also don't know how much of a setback this is.

The whole point of spacex is giving up the idea of a 100% flawless missions for far more affordable spaceflight. There is still a lot of redundancy built into the program and it seems to be working out.
Yes its a scary event, but its a seemingly manageable one.
 
2013-03-01 05:22:36 PM

cretinbob: There was a stuck valve, according to a different article.
I'm hoping they succeed, but there shouldn't be any "unforseen" failures like this.


img.izismile.com
/not the rocket explosion you are thinking of.
 
2013-03-01 05:31:45 PM

Triumph: cretinbob: I'm hoping they succeed, but there shouldn't be any "unforseen" failures like this.

Ever been involved with starting a company?


Or watch any nations's space program. The Soviets were ground breaking, and they had their share of WHOOPSIES. NASA in all the good it's done has lost astronauts. I'm no rocket surgeon, but one thing I'm fairly certain of by what I've seen: This shiat ain't easy.

Glad to hear it's (probably) going to be ok.
 
2013-03-01 05:32:42 PM
I'm a little surprised that SpaceX could fall victim to what appears to be a single-point failure.

Hmmmmm

I wonder if it was sabotage?  I'm tellin all yall that when Dragon comes back, they will look very carefully at what went wrong.


rwfan

Beautiful.

/The hydrazine mushroom cloud is anice touch.
 
2013-03-01 05:41:48 PM
All 4 thrusters were brought online. The perigee raising burn just finished successfully. Way to go Space X!
 
2013-03-01 05:44:24 PM

nekom: Triumph: cretinbob: I'm hoping they succeed, but there shouldn't be any "unforseen" failures like this.

Ever been involved with starting a company?

Or watch any nations's space program. The Soviets were ground breaking, and they had their share of WHOOPSIES. NASA in all the good it's done has lost astronauts. I'm no rocket surgeon, but one thing I'm fairly certain of by what I've seen: This shiat ain't easy.

Glad to hear it's (probably) going to be ok.


And the fact that a few dead astronauts were more of a statistic to the soviets than a setback like it was to the Americans. The USSR needed heroes of the Soviet Union, after all.
 
2013-03-01 05:44:33 PM

rwfan: cretinbob: There was a stuck valve, according to a different article.
I'm hoping they succeed, but there shouldn't be any "unforseen" failures like this.

[img.izismile.com image 470x709]
/not the rocket explosion you are thinking of.


I was going to with Apollo 13 but this works.
 
2013-03-01 05:57:58 PM

BronyMedic:
And the fact that a few dead astronauts were more of a statistic to the soviets than a setback like it was to the Americans. The USSR needed heroes of the Soviet Union, after all.


Well, part of that was likely because things were a LOT more transparent here than in the Soviet Union. You don't think the government here would have covered up the Apollo fire if they thought they had a chance of getting away with it?

Just two different worlds. We had grieving families asking questions, the Soviets just photoshopped them out of the pictures. "Vladimir? Who'se Vladamir. Never heard of him."
 
2013-03-01 06:00:26 PM

studebaker hoch: rwfan

Beautiful.

/The hydrazine mushroom cloud is anice touch.


Thank you.  I can't claim credit though ;^)

/Indian satellite launch.  Russian equipment I would guess.
 
2013-03-01 06:06:29 PM
Sweet! Congrats to the Space-X/Dragon team!

Woo hoo...time to go home and pop a cold one.
 
2013-03-01 06:16:55 PM
Don't be afraid to use duct tape.
 
2013-03-01 06:18:47 PM
studebaker hoch:  Beautiful.

/The hydrazine mushroom cloud is anice touch.


That's hydrazine? So that's what a death cloud looks like. Remind me to never watch a launch in India.
 
2013-03-01 06:39:54 PM

SewerSquirrels: studebaker hoch:  Beautiful.

/The hydrazine mushroom cloud is anice touch.

That's hydrazine? So that's what a death cloud looks like. Remind me to never watch a launch in India.


Actually I think it's the first stage of an Indian Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle so that would be HTPB  but I am really not sure.  In any case the GSLV doesn't use hydrazine
 
2013-03-01 11:36:22 PM
Relieved.

i677.photobucket.com
 
2013-03-02 01:09:09 AM
I'd be more worried if nothing ever happened with SpaceX capsule launches. You can't learn if you don't make mistakes. Then they happen all at once when you have lives at stakes,.
 
2013-03-02 01:41:39 AM

rwfan: SewerSquirrels: studebaker hoch:  Beautiful.

/The hydrazine mushroom cloud is anice touch.

That's hydrazine? So that's what a death cloud looks like. Remind me to never watch a launch in India.

Actually I think it's the first stage of an Indian Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle so that would be HTPB  but I am really not sure.  In any case the GSLV doesn't use hydrazine


Yeah, it does.  The strap-ons and second stage burn 75% UDMH/25% hydrazine with N2O4.  The color of that cloud is probably due more to the nitrogen oxides, but that still makes it spectacularly toxic.

If giant clouds of chemical death aren't your thing, don't stand downwind of certain Russian or Chinese launches either.  The Proton and much of the Long March family run on pretty much nothing but UDMH and N2O4.
 
2013-03-02 09:00:04 AM
i.somethingawful.com

/hopefully SA doesn't do some stupid penis hotlink filter any more...
 
2013-03-02 09:00:08 AM

studebaker hoch: I'm a little surprised that SpaceX could fall victim to what appears to be a single-point failure.


I think this situation has shown they did NOT, in fact, fall victim to a single-point failure, and that their safety precautions and override systems have successfully prevented such failure.
 
2013-03-02 09:05:22 AM

Eps05: I'd be more worried if nothing ever happened with SpaceX capsule launches. You can't learn if you don't make mistakes. Then they happen all at once when you have lives at stakes,.


Agreed.  Having things like this go wrong may not be stellar for their marketing department, but their engineering department has to be ecstatic that not only are they fine tuning their design, but they are still completing missions.
 
2013-03-02 12:29:40 PM
Professor Science    SmartestFunniest 2013-03-02 01:41:39 AM rwfan: SewerSquirrels: studebaker hoch:  Beautiful.

/The hydrazine mushroom cloud is anice touch.

That's hydrazine? So that's what a death cloud looks like. Remind me to never watch a launch in India.

Actually I think it's the first stage of an Indian Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle so that would be HTPB  but I am really not sure.  In any case the GSLV doesn't use hydrazine

Yeah, it does.  The strap-ons and second stage burn 75% UDMH/25% hydrazine with N2O4.  The color of that cloud is probably due more to the nitrogen oxides, but that still makes it spectacularly toxic.

If giant clouds of chemical death aren't your thing, don't stand downwind of certain Russian or Chinese launches either.  The Proton and much of the Long March family run on pretty much nothing but UDMH and N2O4.

 The good sh*t.
 
2013-03-02 12:31:17 PM
This new editor is so broken I can barely use it.

/Fedora core 14, Firefox 3.6.10
 
2013-03-02 12:45:43 PM
But it's feeling muuuch better now.
 
2013-03-02 06:00:51 PM

Ennuipoet: rwfan: cretinbob: There was a stuck valve, according to a different article.
I'm hoping they succeed, but there shouldn't be any "unforseen" failures like this.

[img.izismile.com image 470x709]
/not the rocket explosion you are thinking of.

I was going to with Apollo 13 but this works.


That's why a sticky valve shouldn't be unforeseen. This is like building a new car. The wheel has already been invented and can't be improved upon much more. I guess it still follows under the old adage about government contractors though, remember this stuff is being built by the lowest bidder.
 
2013-03-02 07:18:26 PM

cretinbob: Ennuipoet: rwfan: cretinbob: There was a stuck valve, according to a different article.
I'm hoping they succeed, but there shouldn't be any "unforseen" failures like this.

[img.izismile.com image 470x709]
/not the rocket explosion you are thinking of.

I was going to with Apollo 13 but this works.

That's why a sticky valve shouldn't be unforeseen. This is like building a new car. The wheel has already been invented and can't be improved upon much more. I guess it still follows under the old adage about government contractors though, remember this stuff is being built by the lowest bidder.


IF you're trolling, 10/10 -- just nicely subtle enough -- right on the edge.
If not, Poe's law.

Elon Musk don't give a rat's ass if you think he's doing a good job or not-- he's going to freaking Mars.  If you convince the US government not to buy from him, that will cost him his biggest customer and about one third his business.  But he's still going to freaking Mars -- from a volcano launch site if he needs to.

AND he's going to build freaking fully-reusable launch vehicles that can take off and land from anything this side of Venus and heavy lifters bigger than Saturn V.
 Because he want's to and he's rich enough.


/They'll probably lose at least 3 Falcon 9's somewhere along the way-- won't matter.
 
2013-03-02 10:23:56 PM
NASA has given SpaceX clearance to dock with the ISS

According to SpaceX, the thruster anomaly was fixed by cycling the valves and blowing high-pressure helium through the system.

Proving once again that if you're having a bad day, a blowjob can make it better.
 
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