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(io9)   Amazing footage of SpaceX's first Falcon 9 reusable launch vehicle flight test   (io9.com) divider line 65
    More: Cool, SpaceX, reusable launch vehicle, commercial spaceflight, Dragon capsules, current use, flight test, International Space Station, launch vehicle  
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2963 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Apr 2014 at 6:22 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-19 05:52:14 PM  

Johnny Texas: Another 10 years and we'll be able to land on the moon.


This sounds familiar ...
 
2014-04-19 06:31:26 PM  
pretty :)
 
2014-04-19 06:36:11 PM  

Johnny Texas: Another 10 years and we'll be able to land on the moon.


Spacex is targeting ten years from now for the start of their Mars Colonial Transport program. Maybe they won't achieve it, but that's the ambition and they have a good track record so far.
 
2014-04-19 06:43:29 PM  
I for one love the fact that it's a private business doing this and not NASA. America's real strength has always be entrepreneurship and private citizens banding together to develop and idea, market it, and produce a usable product that people want. If space travel is ever really going to move beyond the realm of government and niche scientific research, it will have to be business that takes it up and really gets it going. SpaceX is at the forefront of that. I'm more proud of them than NASA simply because they're a private entity finally making space flight a marketable product.
 
2014-04-19 06:48:38 PM  
That was...beautiful.
 
2014-04-19 06:51:08 PM  

Johnny Texas: Another 10 years and we'll be able to land on the moon.


At a price that's less than a significant fraction of the US GDP.

That's what SpaceX is trying for. We know we can do it for a few people on an unlimited budget. How can we do it in a way that is sustainable, and not just a stunt? The rest of the launch industry doesn't seem to care much about price, locked into fixed price government launches. We're supposed to be the guys who like free enterprise...
 
2014-04-19 06:51:28 PM  
Jeb is gonna love this...
 
2014-04-19 06:53:39 PM  

taurusowner: I for one love the fact that it's a private business doing this and not NASA. America's real strength has always be entrepreneurship and private citizens banding together to develop and idea, market it, and produce a usable product that people want. If space travel is ever really going to move beyond the realm of government and niche scientific research, it will have to be business that takes it up and really gets it going. SpaceX is at the forefront of that. I'm more proud of them than NASA simply because they're a private entity finally making space flight a marketable product.


I wholeheartedly agree, but I fear the day Nasa/FedGov swoop in with a "No, not yours." and absorb it for national security or somesuch nonsense.
 
2014-04-19 07:00:45 PM  
The only thing that bothers me about SpaceX is that the mouth-breathers will use it to trumpet the "government bad, private business good" bullshiat.  NASA is responsible, both directly and indirectly, for the high quality of life that the developed world has, but because NASA didn't specifically make space flight "profitable", the poo-flinging monkeys are tripping over themselves in their rush to say how much better SpaceX is than NASA.  SpaceX wouldn't farking exist if it wasn't for NASA.

Yeah, SpaceX is awesome, and they're doing great things, but fark the wanna-be corporate whores for disrespecting everything that NASA has done that's made SpaceX possible.
 
2014-04-19 07:03:33 PM  
I wish I could manage that in KSP.
 
2014-04-19 07:17:07 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-19 07:18:02 PM  

Teufelaffe: I wish I could manage that in KSP.



Have you never landed on Mun? That is basically a moon landing with a taller rocket. And wind, less wide legs, probably no RCS...ok, that is pretty impressive. Even more interessting than their Grasshopper landing.
 
2014-04-19 07:28:01 PM  

taurusowner: I for one love the fact that it's a private business doing this and not NASA. America's real strength has always be entrepreneurship and private citizens banding together to develop and idea, market it, and produce a usable product that people want. If space travel is ever really going to move beyond the realm of government and niche scientific research, it will have to be business that takes it up and really gets it going. SpaceX is at the forefront of that. I'm more proud of them than NASA simply because they're a private entity finally making space flight a marketable product.


Who is paying for this? NASA.
 
2014-04-19 07:28:27 PM  

New Farkin User Name: Have you never landed on Mun? That is basically a moon landing with a taller rocket.


i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-19 07:48:00 PM  
Wow.  That's an amazing amount of control for so basic looking a rocket.  The landing was impressively precise.

Nice.
 
2014-04-19 07:49:48 PM  
Truth be told, I liked Grasshopper better because it had that cool observation deck.

I guess they removed that from the Falcon 9. Probably to streamline the ship.

I'd like to see footage of yesterday's Falcon 9 reentering and testing her legs over the ocean.
 
2014-04-19 07:52:40 PM  

Ambivalence: Wow.  That's an amazing amount of control for so basic looking a rocket.  The landing was impressively precise.

Nice.


And it's a reusable vehicle.  I can't help but wonder if it's only the upper stage.   I look at it, and can't help but wonder if it's rocket enough to actually get Kerbals into orbit.
 
2014-04-19 07:57:21 PM  

Cpl.D: And it's a reusable vehicle.  I can't help but wonder if it's only the upper stage.   I look at it, and can't help but wonder if it's rocket enough to actually get Kerbals into orbit.


That is very likely.   But still, it boggles me how you steer something like that.  It doens't have "fins" per se.  Would it re-enter nose first or feet first?  But it was clearly correcting itself in the video.  How?
 
2014-04-19 08:00:04 PM  
Since yesterday's launch went off without a hitch, and assuming tomorrow's docking also goes well, Orbital's next ISS resupply mission should launch sometime next month.

While I absolutely want to see both companies do well, I still kinda "root" for SpaceX since they design and build all their stuff in-house (comparatively, Orbital's Antares rocket uses Russian engines).
 
2014-04-19 08:06:45 PM  

Ambivalence: Cpl.D: And it's a reusable vehicle.  I can't help but wonder if it's only the upper stage.   I look at it, and can't help but wonder if it's rocket enough to actually get Kerbals into orbit.

That is very likely.   But still, it boggles me how you steer something like that.  It doens't have "fins" per se.  Would it re-enter nose first or feet first?  But it was clearly correcting itself in the video.  How?


Could be three things.  First, vectored thrust.  Second, RCS control thrusters.  Third, reaction wheel system.
 
2014-04-19 08:09:57 PM  

Cpl.D: Ambivalence: Cpl.D: And it's a reusable vehicle.  I can't help but wonder if it's only the upper stage.   I look at it, and can't help but wonder if it's rocket enough to actually get Kerbals into orbit.

That is very likely.   But still, it boggles me how you steer something like that.  It doens't have "fins" per se.  Would it re-enter nose first or feet first?  But it was clearly correcting itself in the video.  How?

Could be three things.  First, vectored thrust.  Second, RCS control thrusters.  Third, reaction wheel system.


What about a fanatical devotion to the Pope?
 
2014-04-19 08:17:48 PM  

Teufelaffe: Cpl.D: Ambivalence: Cpl.D: And it's a reusable vehicle.  I can't help but wonder if it's only the upper stage.   I look at it, and can't help but wonder if it's rocket enough to actually get Kerbals into orbit.

That is very likely.   But still, it boggles me how you steer something like that.  It doens't have "fins" per se.  Would it re-enter nose first or feet first?  But it was clearly correcting itself in the video.  How?

Could be three things.  First, vectored thrust.  Second, RCS control thrusters.  Third, reaction wheel system.

What about a fanatical devotion to the Pope?


That only works if you fuel it with concentrated confirmation bias.
 
2014-04-19 08:23:53 PM  

taurusowner: I for one love the fact that it's a private business doing this and not NASA.


You do realize that SpaceX is getting tremendous technical help and hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax money to proceed with their development, right?
 
2014-04-19 08:25:48 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-19 08:28:39 PM  

taurusowner: I for one love the fact that it's a private business doing this and not NASA. America's real strength has always be entrepreneurship and private citizens banding together to develop and idea, market it, and produce a usable product that people want. If space travel is ever really going to move beyond the realm of government and niche scientific research, it will have to be business that takes it up and really gets it going. SpaceX is at the forefront of that. I'm more proud of them than NASA simply because they're a private entity finally making space flight a marketable product.


You sound young.
 
2014-04-19 08:33:32 PM  

Drunk Astronaut: You do realize that SpaceX is getting tremendous technical help and hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax money to proceed with their development, right?


True, but it should be noted that they still operate cheaper (cost per kg/mission).. and with less subsidy.. than ULA.
 
2014-04-19 08:36:38 PM  

taurusowner: I for one love the fact that it's a private business doing this and not NASA. America's real strength has always be entrepreneurship and private citizens banding together to develop and idea, market it, and produce a usable product that people want. If space travel is ever really going to move beyond the realm of government and niche scientific research, it will have to be business that takes it up and really gets it going. SpaceX is at the forefront of that. I'm more proud of them than NASA simply because they're a private entity finally making space flight a marketable product.


I disagree.  I think SpaceX is doing a very nice job, and far better than I predicted a private enterprise would do, but the groundwork was laid out by NASA, and NASA still provides the funding.

NASA could have done far more by now if their funding weren't subject to the changing wind and whims of political power.  If we'd kept NASA funded at the same level (as a percentage of the budget) as we did in the 60s, we'd likely have permanent manned bases on the moon and Mars by now.
 
2014-04-19 08:39:51 PM  

RoyBatty: Truth be told, I liked Grasshopper better because it had that cool observation deck.

I guess they removed that from the Falcon 9. Probably to streamline the ship.

I'd like to see footage of yesterday's Falcon 9 reentering and testing her legs over the ocean.


I'll second the wanting to see the footage - any word from SpaceX on that part of the mission?
 
2014-04-19 08:42:02 PM  

TommyDeuce: I'll second the wanting to see the footage - any word from SpaceX on that part of the mission?


Doesn't exist. SpaceX couldn't get their boat to the area due to rough seas. According to data, however, it "landed" successfully.
 
2014-04-19 08:45:23 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: NASA could have done far more by now if their funding weren't subject to the changing wind and whims of political power.


Political and military. The shuttle was the hamstrung frankenstein it was because of (silly in hindsight) USAF demands. In addition to having their budget constantly slashed, because of pork, a ton of what budget they had was unnecessarily pissed away.
 
2014-04-19 08:47:35 PM  

The Bestest: TommyDeuce: I'll second the wanting to see the footage - any word from SpaceX on that part of the mission?

Doesn't exist. SpaceX couldn't get their boat to the area due to rough seas. According to data, however, it "landed" successfully.


So they can make an autonomous rocket powered artificial brain, but can't get the damned thing to take a selfie?
 
2014-04-19 09:06:14 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: taurusowner: I for one love the fact that it's a private business doing this and not NASA. America's real strength has always be entrepreneurship and private citizens banding together to develop and idea, market it, and produce a usable product that people want. If space travel is ever really going to move beyond the realm of government and niche scientific research, it will have to be business that takes it up and really gets it going. SpaceX is at the forefront of that. I'm more proud of them than NASA simply because they're a private entity finally making space flight a marketable product.

I disagree.  I think SpaceX is doing a very nice job, and far better than I predicted a private enterprise would do, but the groundwork was laid out by NASA, and NASA still provides the funding.

NASA could have done far more by now if their funding weren't subject to the changing wind and whims of political power.  If we'd kept NASA funded at the same level (as a percentage of the budget) as we did in the 60s, we'd likely have permanent manned bases on the moon and Mars by now.




That isn't how it works.
In the end NASA is either purchasing vehicles by cost plus contracts or purchasing vehicle services per mission. Their hands on involvement is still limited to supervisory stuff while various companies prepare the equipment for them.
You can give them a mars rocket, like sls, but it's not going anywhere anytime sooner than if you wait for spacex to sell you a mars ticket.
The difference is that spacex isn't necessarily waiting for a government order before offering the service.

NASA of the Apollo era was under extreme political pressure to plant flags. That pressure was replaced by the need to buy rockets for absurd prices based on which state they were built in. No one wants risks or big expensive tours of the solar system anymore when people as satisfied with reliving past glory and getting an under the table payout for it. You can always buy a Soyuz ticket to get work done.

So deadlines will continue to be missed, causing sls to be shelved and replaced by another expensive yet pointless boondoggle, because the point is to launder our money for personal gain.

Without a mandate to go somewhere within a reasonably short time span, it won't matter who makes the rocket. NASA won't use it.
 
2014-04-19 09:22:47 PM  

The Bestest: TuteTibiImperes: NASA could have done far more by now if their funding weren't subject to the changing wind and whims of political power.

Political and military. The shuttle was the hamstrung frankenstein it was because of (silly in hindsight) USAF demands. In addition to having their budget constantly slashed, because of pork, a ton of what budget they had was unnecessarily pissed away.


The US military is, bar none, the biggest impediment to innovation there is. Sure they have produced some innovations, but only insofar as that an entity that gets half of the resources of the largest economy in history can't help but blunder upon a few things. But they are mind blowingly inefficient with what they get, and in the meantime they actively thwart innovation by any other entity, foreign or domestic.

If three quarters of their budget were removed, they would still be able to, faced with necessity, run as effective of a military, just not wallowing in waste. On the other hand, if the other three quarters went towards real innovation, we would be an immortal multi planetary species by now.
 
2014-04-19 09:44:18 PM  

Hollie Maea: The US military is, bar none, the biggest impediment to innovation there is. Sure they have produced some innovations, but only insofar as that an entity that gets half of the resources of the largest economy in history can't help but blunder upon a few things. But they are mind blowingly inefficient with what they get, and in the meantime they actively thwart innovation by any other entity, foreign or domestic.


Wow. And to think I just read an article last week about the Navy successfully testing a method of creating long chain hydrocarbons (fuel) from sea water.   I sure hope that technology doesn't go anywhere because it may totally screw up your entire belief system.  Not to mention the internet began as a military network.  Microwave technology started with the military.

Just because the military's innovations are limited in scope (they aren't, for example, going to discover the greatest innovations in plastic surgery or fashion), doesn't mean they aren't significant or numerous. The medical innovations alone are worth the price of admission.
 
2014-04-19 09:57:06 PM  
Railgun.  You also forgot to mention railgun.  It's purpose?  Be a railgun.  Good enough!
 
2014-04-19 10:00:21 PM  

Ambivalence: Hollie Maea: The US military is, bar none, the biggest impediment to innovation there is. Sure they have produced some innovations, but only insofar as that an entity that gets half of the resources of the largest economy in history can't help but blunder upon a few things. But they are mind blowingly inefficient with what they get, and in the meantime they actively thwart innovation by any other entity, foreign or domestic.

Wow. And to think I just read an article last week about the Navy successfully testing a method of creating long chain hydrocarbons (fuel) from sea water.   I sure hope that technology doesn't go anywhere because it may totally screw up your entire belief system.  Not to mention the internet began as a military network.  Microwave technology started with the military.

Just because the military's innovations are limited in scope (they aren't, for example, going to discover the greatest innovations in plastic surgery or fashion), doesn't mean they aren't significant or numerous. The medical innovations alone are worth the price of admission.


Military spending has led to a lot of cool innovations, no doubt.  I believe the point he was making is that they also waste a ton of money on route to creating those things.

The DoD and the defense budget are huge with a top heavy bureaucracy that often squabbles amongst itself and with the civilian oversight authorities.  Government agencies can do great things, and when people complain about government waste it's usually about inefficiencies in the system rather than the fact that the government is doing the spending.  It's not a problem unique to government either - large corporations have similar problems where one hand doesn't know what the other is doing and a lot of money can be invested in a project only to have it canceled right before fruition due to a change in the corporate roadmap.

However, no private company comes close to the DoD's budget.  Ars Technica has a great article (link here) on one DoD project in particular - software defined radio.  In theory, it's a great idea that would aid soldiers in the field, give us an edge, and even save a bunch of money.  It would also have (and does) have some great civilian applications.  In practice the way it was implemented turned into a complete boondoggle due to mission creep and everyone trying to get their own pound of flesh from the project.
 
2014-04-19 10:03:46 PM  
Again, the U.S. military has literally had the biggest budget of any entity in the history of the planet. Their results have not been commensurate.

Oh, they developed a rail gun and synthesized some hydrocarbons? Big farking deal. They had tens of trillions of dollars thrown at them.
 
2014-04-19 10:09:50 PM  

Hollie Maea: Again, the U.S. military has literally had the biggest budget of any entity in the history of the planet. Their results have not been commensurate.

Oh, they developed a rail gun and synthesized some hydrocarbons? Big farking deal. They had tens of trillions of dollars thrown at them.


Exactly.  The government should be able to run any program more efficiently than any private corporation due to not having to worry about profits, huge executive salaries, or shareholder returns.  Instead we see Congressmen push the DoD around for things like building tanks the Army says it doesn't need or want, developing a secondary engine for the F-35 that wasn't necessary and just added extra cost and delays to the program, and buying planes only to immediately send them to the boneyard because there's no use for them.

Take out all of the pork and make-work for the districts of well connected Congressmen and the DoD would be far more efficient.
 
2014-04-19 10:11:07 PM  
Also, as cool as rail guns are, they are 100 year old technology.  Sure scaling them up to immense size is not trivial, but no ground breaking innovation going on there.  The linear motor we are developing for the Hyperloop will be a more impressive implementation of the same technology, will cost a small fraction of what the military spent, and will have a purpose beyond just "being a rail gun".
 
2014-04-19 10:14:52 PM  
I read an article the other day about how the military won't let Digital Globe and other US remote imaging firms provide high resolution imagery because "they wanted to be the only ones who had it". So now they are getting their asses kicked by companies from other countries because everyone and their dog has capabilities far beyond what the military allows US companies.  I put that in my ledger on the side of "anti innovation".
 
2014-04-19 10:55:04 PM  
It's like no one ever heard of Boeing, Lockheed, Rocketdyne, Thiokol, etcetera.  NASA gave all of them money for spacecraft and rockets too, and they were... how do you say... private industry.

SpaceX has a killer PR machine, I'll give them that.   Up there with Apple, making everyone think they invented everything they are doing including the business model.
 
2014-04-19 10:58:36 PM  
Instead of this silly spat, let's enjoy the bloody rocket for what it did and not what we think it means.

Also I will post more Kerbal pictures.  Because Kerbal.

i.imgur.com
i.imgur.com
i.imgur.com
i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-19 11:04:55 PM  

Bacontastesgood: It's like no one ever heard of Boeing, Lockheed, Rocketdyne, Thiokol, etcetera.  NASA gave all of them money for spacecraft and rockets too, and they were... how do you say... private industry.

SpaceX has a killer PR machine, I'll give them that.   Up there with Apple, making everyone think they invented everything they are doing including the business model.


The key difference is that SpaceX (as well as Orbital) are running the missions themselves, instead of just selling hardware to a governmental agency. THAT is what hasn't been done before (in regards to the ISS at least).

That's not even what's important. What IS important is that currently SpaceX is the cheapest provider of orbital services, and does this with far less of a subsidy than ULA (LockMart/Boeing) receives. The whole point of the resuable rocket initiative is to drive those prices down -even further-.
 
2014-04-19 11:09:49 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2014-04-19 11:16:46 PM  

Bacontastesgood: It's like no one ever heard of Boeing, Lockheed, Rocketdyne, Thiokol, etcetera.  NASA gave all of them money for spacecraft and rockets too, and they were... how do you say... private industry.

SpaceX has a killer PR machine, I'll give them that.   Up there with Apple, making everyone think they invented everything they are doing including the business model.


Let's look at what Lockheed/Boeing etc have right now.  (Not totally apples to apples since the Atlas is slightly larger, but close)

ULA: Atlas V 541 launch costs according to Wikipedia are around $223M.
Similar boosters from other countries: ~$100 M
Falcon 9 1.1: $54M

Yes, Falcon is doing the same thing that others have done for years.  It's also doing it for 1/4 - 1/2 the cost.  *That's* the innovation, and what ULA has utterly failed to do.
 
2014-04-19 11:59:06 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: *That's* the innovation, and what ULA has utterly failed to do.


ULA's innovation is to tell Congress that we're going to get taken over by the Communists if they don't give them more money to buy rocket engines from the Russians to launch spy satellites that we don't want.
 
2014-04-20 12:33:50 AM  
After playing KSP for a while now, with no mods, I decided to add a few today. Kerbal Alarm Clock helps keep track of multiple missions simulataneously, which, after crashing one into the Mun because I thought it had more time, I decided I need that one.

Chatter adds realistic radio transmissions in kerbal speak. Just a nice ambience addition.

I added the Kethane mod, and haven't quite figured it out yet, but I like that it will give me a reason to build a base on Minmus or wherever.

I added the Phoenix from Star Trek, and while looking pretty, I can't get it to go into warp. Not sure if it even can. But it added the warp engine to the tech tree at the very end, so I figured it would be like the ultimate goal to shoot for. But I can figure out what to do to get it to warp, and the read me neglected to mention anything as well.

Mech Jeb is like, making the game play itself, in my opinion, so I passed on that one. Otherwise, what's the point? Besides, doing stuff myself has improved my skills, so I can now intercept and dock on my own above any orbiting body, and pin point land.
 
2014-04-20 12:35:46 AM  
Kethane is a good mod.  Here's how it works.  Add a kethane scanner.  Add a kethane drill.  Add a kethane refinery.  No reason at all you can't put it all on one ship.

In example, this is a Kethane refinery / tower lander:

i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-20 01:44:40 AM  

Cpl.D: Kethane is a good mod.  Here's how it works.  Add a kethane scanner.  Add a kethane drill.  Add a kethane refinery.  No reason at all you can't put it all on one ship.

In example, this is a Kethane refinery / tower lander:

[i.imgur.com image 850x478]


looks like the SDF-1 a little
 
2014-04-20 02:28:44 AM  

Cpl.D: Ambivalence: Wow.  That's an amazing amount of control for so basic looking a rocket.  The landing was impressively precise.

Nice.

And it's a reusable vehicle.  I can't help but wonder if it's only the upper stage.   I look at it, and can't help but wonder if it's rocket enough to actually get Kerbals into orbit.


It's the complete Falcon 9 lower stage. The engine is gimbaled to provide thrust vectoring, plus RCS thrusters above. When it launches you can see the Grasshopper test vehicle on the right.
 
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