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(Business Insider)   Elon Musk Confirms Historic Soft-Landing. LGT: Live Feed   (businessinsider.com) divider line 91
    More: Cool, Elon Musk  
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4441 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Apr 2014 at 4:11 PM (12 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-25 04:16:40 PM
It landed softly in the ocean, but it's a nice start. The progress of this company is fun to watch.
 
2014-04-25 04:17:25 PM
37.media.tumblr.com[\img]
 
2014-04-25 04:22:42 PM
I'm totes bummed they didn't have a recoverable Go-Pro pod on the rocket to record the landing.

Still, this is teh awesome. I got a mothballed aircraft carrier sitting down the street from me. Elon should buy it, drive it down to Florida and use it as a landing pad for the next first stage landing....

/or rent a containership with a temporary landing pad installed...
 
2014-04-25 04:29:45 PM
This is really huge.  Congrats to the team.
 
2014-04-25 04:34:08 PM

Unoriginal_Username: It landed softly in the ocean, but it's a nice start. The progress of this company is fun to watch.


No one's going to give them landing clearance till they prove the booster is not just going to smack into the tarmac, or worse. We are potentially talking about hurling a booster at a semi populated area.

First stage recovery is a big deal.   It was a holy grail of both Apollo and the Shuttle program.

/Apollo abandoned it as too expensive, risky, and complicated. Shuttle only recovered booster casings.
/SpaceX may soon achieve what hundred billion dollar programs gave up at.
/Which is something to be proud of.
 
2014-04-25 04:34:53 PM
Elon Musk

That can't be a real name.
 
2014-04-25 04:37:16 PM

Car_Ramrod: Elon Musk

That can't be a real name.


It's the name of the fan-fic love child of Picard and Kirk.
 
2014-04-25 04:39:58 PM

way south: Unoriginal_Username: It landed softly in the ocean, but it's a nice start. The progress of this company is fun to watch.

No one's going to give them landing clearance till they prove the booster is not just going to smack into the tarmac, or worse. We are potentially talking about hurling a booster at a semi populated area.

First stage recovery is a big deal.   It was a holy grail of both Apollo and the Shuttle program.

/Apollo abandoned it as too expensive, risky, and complicated. Shuttle only recovered booster casings.
/SpaceX may soon achieve what hundred billion dollar programs gave up at.
/Which is something to be proud of.


To be fair Apollo did start 50 years ago and they did manage to fly to the moon on less computing power than a smartphone. I would suspect computing power is the major advancement that will allow SpaceX to land and reuse their rockets.
 
2014-04-25 04:41:08 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-25 04:44:51 PM

Cpl.D: [i.imgur.com image 850x531]


dl.dropboxusercontent.com

Egads man, give the thread a chance before hitting the KSP!.


/and I'm stuck at work when there's rockets to build...
 
2014-04-25 04:50:03 PM
To be fair Apollo did start 50 years ago and they did manage to fly to the moon on less computing power than a smartphone. I would suspect computing power is the major advancement that will allow SpaceX to land and reuse their rockets.

THIS.

ya know, these wiz-bang computerized space machine thingys are getting so good it's getting easier to give up on manned systems and just do everything unmanned. There's really no need to send men to Mars when you can cheaply send lots of virtual presence devices to do the exploring for us. More rovers, and add some unmanned sample return vehicles to meet up with the rovers. Do the same for the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
 
2014-04-25 04:52:56 PM

Tyrosine: way south: Unoriginal_Username: It landed softly in the ocean, but it's a nice start. The progress of this company is fun to watch.

No one's going to give them landing clearance till they prove the booster is not just going to smack into the tarmac, or worse. We are potentially talking about hurling a booster at a semi populated area.

First stage recovery is a big deal.   It was a holy grail of both Apollo and the Shuttle program.

/Apollo abandoned it as too expensive, risky, and complicated. Shuttle only recovered booster casings.
/SpaceX may soon achieve what hundred billion dollar programs gave up at.
/Which is something to be proud of.

To be fair Apollo did start 50 years ago and they did manage to fly to the moon on less computing power than a smartphone. I would suspect computing power is the major advancement that will allow SpaceX to land and reuse their rockets.


I agree, computing capability is no small part of this. We've also learned alot about materials and engines in the mean time.
They had planned to recover the Saturn boosters by parachute and tugboat, but with so few launches it never materialized.
Apollo got cancelled before hitting its real stride.  With mass production and a few tweaks, it was on track to be cheaper than what we ended up paying for the shuttle.

/Depending on who's numbers you believe, anyway.
/By some estimates we paid over a billion per shuttle flight.
/Thirty years of Saturn V's would have been epic.
 
2014-04-25 05:11:43 PM
They said the 2nd stage probably sank.

What are the odds the Russians had a supertanker in the area that was actually a carefully camouflaged submarine tender.

It's probably halfway to their secret island base by now.  One with a crater lake in the middle, that's actually a concealed launching pit...
 
2014-04-25 05:12:23 PM

way south: Unoriginal_Username: It landed softly in the ocean, but it's a nice start. The progress of this company is fun to watch.

No one's going to give them landing clearance till they prove the booster is not just going to smack into the tarmac, or worse. We are potentially talking about hurling a booster at a semi populated area.

First stage recovery is a big deal.   It was a holy grail of both Apollo and the Shuttle program.

/Apollo abandoned it as too expensive, risky, and complicated. Shuttle only recovered booster casings.
/SpaceX may soon achieve what hundred billion dollar programs gave up at.
/Which is something to be proud of.


Exactly.

This issue was one big reason for using Canaveral as our launch site, so that the boosters would fall into the Atlantic.

It's also a big reason why the planned Shuttle launches from Vandenberg AFB in California were scrapped (they built a full shuttle launch facility out on the west coast, and planned regular launches from there, but they were finally cancelled in the aftermath of Challenger), they had to many concerns about safety involving flight path over inhabited areas.
 
2014-04-25 05:19:14 PM
In case anyone was curious who the United Launch Alliance was:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Launch_Alliance

ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA was formed in December 2006 by combining the teams at these companies which provide spacecraft launch services to the government of the United States. U.S. government launch customers include both the Department of Defense and NASA, as well as other organizations.
 
2014-04-25 05:22:56 PM
They're running cologne ads in the Geek section now?
 
2014-04-25 05:33:32 PM
"Sorry, Jeb.  The launch pad is taken."
"Fine.  I'll make my own launch pad."
"Why not just wait for them to be done?"
"You can't stop me!"

i.imgur.com

"Does that thing even work?"

i.imgur.com

"Later, suckers!"
"THAT'S NOT HOW A LAUNCH GANTRY WORKS!"

i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-25 05:35:48 PM
www.moviequotesandmore.com
Luckily Kowalski came along and saved the day. Elon Musk was just about to kill himself.
 
2014-04-25 05:40:02 PM

way south: Apollo got cancelled before hitting its real stride. With mass production and a few tweaks, it was on track to be cheaper than what we ended up paying for the shuttle.


For perspective: adjusted for inflation, we could have paid for 50 Apollo launches to the Moon for what the Iraq War cost.
 
2014-04-25 06:12:34 PM

theorellior: way south: Apollo got cancelled before hitting its real stride. With mass production and a few tweaks, it was on track to be cheaper than what we ended up paying for the shuttle.

For perspective: adjusted for inflation, we could have paid for 50 Apollo launches to the Moon for what the Iraq War cost.


Moon doesn't have oil.... well, not that we know of yet.....

but when it happens.....

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-04-25 06:13:48 PM

way south: /Thirty years of Saturn V's would have been epic.


Being able to loft Skylab-sized modules into orbit would have likely dramatically reduced the cost to build the space station because fewer launches and spacewalks would have been necessary to assemble a station of a useful size. We also could also have done a HUGE space telescope with a much larger mirror than the Hubble (assuming we ha the facilities to build a mirror that large).
 
2014-04-25 06:20:30 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2014-04-25 06:35:08 PM

Cpl.D: [i.imgur.com image 850x478]


That looks like a hard splashdown...
 
2014-04-25 06:50:37 PM

way south: Unoriginal_Username: It landed softly in the ocean, but it's a nice start. The progress of this company is fun to watch.

No one's going to give them landing clearance till they prove the booster is not just going to smack into the tarmac, or worse. We are potentially talking about hurling a booster at a semi populated area.

First stage recovery is a big deal.   It was a holy grail of both Apollo and the Shuttle program.

/Apollo abandoned it as too expensive, risky, and complicated. Shuttle only recovered booster casings.
/SpaceX may soon achieve what hundred billion dollar programs gave up at.
/Which is something to be proud of.


I read an article earlier, I thought it mentioned that it landed a few miles away from where they had planned. Of course, I can't find the same story now, so I may have imagined it.
Either way, you're right. This is something to be proud of. It's an incredible achievement, and once they get it perfected, well things can only get better.
 
VTC
2014-04-25 06:57:49 PM

Cubicle Jockey: In case anyone was curious who the United Launch Alliance was:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Launch_Alliance

ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA was formed in December 2006 by combining the teams at these companies which provide spacecraft launch services to the government of the United States. U.S. government launch customers include both the Department of Defense and NASA, as well as other organizations.


Yeah, this article did a terrible job with facts on this point....I've read a few articles related to this recently and none of them seem to be accepting any facts other than those coming from Musk. He seems to be playing some weird info/legal/lobbying game in order to get around the traditional bid/competition process. Plus, what does Elon expect to launch for the government without heavy lift capability? SpaceX only has one type of engine operational and it's not a very big one. There is no way he could launch any of the bigger DOD payloads.
 
2014-04-25 07:04:33 PM
i.imgur.com
I like struts, yes I do.  I like struts, how about you?
 
2014-04-25 07:08:06 PM

Cpl.D:


It begins...
 
2014-04-25 07:10:04 PM
i.imgur.com
MOAR STRUTS I SAID
 
2014-04-25 07:19:15 PM
mark 12A:

"ya know, these wiz-bang computerized space machine thingys are getting so good it's getting easier to give up on manned systems and just do everything unmanned. There's really no need to send men to Mars when you can cheaply send lots of virtual presence devices to do the exploring for us. More rovers, and add some unmanned sample return vehicles to meet up with the rovers. Do the same for the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. "


Let me know how well the oversight and control works on those remote probes with the 20 to 90-minute lag time due to distance.
 
2014-04-25 07:19:35 PM

theorellior: way south: Apollo got cancelled before hitting its real stride. With mass production and a few tweaks, it was on track to be cheaper than what we ended up paying for the shuttle.

For perspective: adjusted for inflation, we could have paid for 50 Apollo launches to the Moon for what the Iraq War cost.


How many launches could have been paid for by 6 years of quantitative easing at 85 billion per month (money printing) ?
12 years of Afghanistan War? X years of ethanol subsidies? 60 years of Agricultural Subsidies?  The tens of billions doled out to the UAW (aka, General Motors) ?
 
VTC
2014-04-25 07:20:03 PM

Cpl.D: [i.imgur.com image 850x531]
MOAR STRUTS I SAID


Dude, that thing....I'm afraid it's going to need a few more struts.
 
2014-04-25 07:20:55 PM

VTC: Dude, that thing....I'm afraid it's going to need a few more struts.


i.imgur.com
MOAR STRUTS HE SAID
 
2014-04-25 07:21:22 PM

Outlander Engine: What are the odds the Russians had a supertanker in the area that was actually a carefully camouflaged submarine tender.


A supertanker no.. but Russia DID have a tug/salvage boat parked in the area.
 
2014-04-25 07:27:27 PM

The Bestest: Outlander Engine: What are the odds the Russians had a supertanker in the area that was actually a carefully camouflaged submarine tender.

A supertanker no.. but Russia DID have a tug/salvage boat parked in the area.


Aquatic international theft has been going on a long time.  I've no doubt we've yanked more than one of their suborbital projectiles from the drink.
 
2014-04-25 07:28:07 PM
Is there any video of the landing/splashdown?
 
2014-04-25 07:28:28 PM

Any Pie Left: Let me know how well the oversight and control works on those remote probes with the 20 to 90-minute lag time due to distance.


d1jqu7g1y74ds1.cloudfront.net

It works pretty darn well now, and it will only get better as the rovers and probes get more powerful computers with smarter AI.
 
2014-04-25 07:34:01 PM
To delve into the topic briefly, anyone watching the stream able to give us a breakdown of the info passed along?  At office, no streamy.
 
2014-04-25 07:46:34 PM

Unoriginal_Username: The progress of this company is fun to watch.


I'm personally nauseated by the fact that we were putting live humans on the moon in 1969 and now we're hailing something this basic in 2014 like it was an achievement worthy of note, or even footnote.
 
2014-04-25 07:48:34 PM
I hate it when people use his name, I just can't get past thinking about:

static.ddmcdn.com
/musk melon
 
2014-04-25 07:49:18 PM

Cpl.D: VTC: Dude, that thing....I'm afraid it's going to need a few more struts.


MOAR STRUTS HE SAID


Are.... Are you a wizard?
 
2014-04-25 07:50:54 PM
Don't get me wrong, reusable chemical rockets is a nice idea, but it's so blazingly obvious that it should have been well done already by the early 80's.
 
2014-04-25 08:31:03 PM

Watching_Epoxy_Cure: How many launches could have been paid for by 6 years of quantitative easing at 85 billion per month (money printing) ?


Quantitative easing doesn't waste material, blood and treasure like blowing up a lot of bombs in the desert does. Ethanol subsidies don't fill beds at Walter M. Reed. Agricultural subsidies don't trigger PTSD flashbacks. Neither GM nor the UAW are in the habit of making improvised explosive devices to kill and maim US servicemen. Why do you feel the need to defend an ill-advised foreign adventure prosecuted on trumped-up evidence?
 
2014-04-25 08:39:08 PM

doglover: Unoriginal_Username: The progress of this company is fun to watch.

I'm personally nauseated by the fact that we were putting live humans on the moon in 1969 and now we're hailing something this basic in 2014 like it was an achievement worthy of note, or even footnote.


They're claiming their rocket could be recovered and refurbished for another launch the same day. That would be very noteworthy. It's such an incredible idea it unfortunately makes me think of some of the later-proven-very-false claims that 1970s NASA made about how quickly and cheaply the space shuttle could be turned around for another launch.
 
2014-04-25 08:52:17 PM

Eskurido: Are.... Are you a wizard?


i.imgur.com
Spaaaaace... wizard.
 
2014-04-25 08:59:14 PM

VTC: Yeah, this article did a terrible job with facts on this point....I've read a few articles related to this recently and none of them seem to be accepting any facts other than those coming from Musk. He seems to be playing some weird info/legal/lobbying game in order to get around the traditional bid/competition process. Plus, what does Elon expect to launch for the government without heavy lift capability? SpaceX only has one type of engine operational and it's not a very big one. There is no way he could launch any of the bigger DOD payloads.


I-is this satire? Are you kidding with us? Or are you a ULA employee?

SpaceX got screwed out of designing and building a launch vehicle for the Air Force. Not a lift contract - an R&D and engineering project.

And here are a few little "facts" for you, you might be unfamiliar with. ULA is a consortium of big name defense contractors - the weapons oligopoly. As such, ULA receives heavy government subsidies in order to keep it afloat as a going economic concern, because the US government wants to preserve their domestic launch capabilities and there are no other competitors.

ULA's Atlas V rocket is rated at 9,800-18,810kg to LEO. It costs around $220m per launch. It relies Russian built RD-180 engines to fly. These launches are not commercially competitive, and the sole customer for the 54 Atlas V has been the US government. ULA also manufactures the Delta IV, which uses US built engines and costs about $170m per launch. While the Delta IV is a heavier lift platform and even has it's own "heavy" variant for even more power, the cost per kg to launch is still not commercially competitive; all but one of of the 25 Delta launches have been paid for by the US government.

And then there is SpaceX. SpaceX receives no government subsidies of the sort ULA is constantly suckling from the government teat. The current version of the Falcon 9 is rated at 13,500kg, so it directly competes with the Atlas V, and the Falcon 9 Heavy is in development to compete with the Delta IV.

The Falcon 9 costs about $54m per launch - 25% of what ULA's rockets cost to lift. And the engine to the Falcon 9 is built in the United States, not Russia. $54 million is commercially competitive with Europe and Russia, who dominate the launch market (the US typically has zero commercial launches in any given year). If SpaceX gets the reusable, laudable first stage working - and it very much looks like they will - Musk has said that the cost per launch for the Falcon 9 could drop as low as $10m a launch. Which is INSANE - that puts LEO payloads in the price range that private companies and universities are willing to pay.

What I'm getting at is this: FARK ULA. They are single handedly responsible for promoting the stagnation of the US launch industry, due to their preference for siphoning off that sweet sweet government money rather developing US space capabilities to be competitive with the rest of the world. They sit on their collective asses and outsource their major components to Russia because it's cheaper and easier that way, all the while charging the US tax payers insane prices per launch because they just don't give a shiat about innovation or cost controls - why change when you're making money hand over fist and you are literally the only game on town?

I hope Elon Musk gouges out the collective eyeballs of ULA and skullfarks the lot of them.
 
2014-04-25 09:16:11 PM

Nem Wan: doglover: Unoriginal_Username: The progress of this company is fun to watch.

I'm personally nauseated by the fact that we were putting live humans on the moon in 1969 and now we're hailing something this basic in 2014 like it was an achievement worthy of note, or even footnote.

They're claiming their rocket could be recovered and refurbished for another launch the same day. That would be very noteworthy. It's such an incredible idea it unfortunately makes me think of some of the later-proven-very-false claims that 1970s NASA made about how quickly and cheaply the space shuttle could be turned around for another launch.


A minor nuance in a world where, gods willing, we'll have fusion rockets at some point.

The ramscoop probably won't work, but Helium 3? We can go to Europa.
 
2014-04-25 09:21:08 PM
Whoops, forgot to mention the Delta II. It's ULA's workhorse and is being phased out (the USAF will no longer be using them) but it's still in service: 154 launches, $52m a launch, 6,100kg max to LEO. So the same price as a Falcon 9 with less than half the payload capabilities. Also puts a lie to "Space X needs heavy lift capability if it is going to serve the USAF" given how many USAF satellites have gone up on a Delta II.
 
2014-04-25 09:26:39 PM

doglover: Unoriginal_Username: The progress of this company is fun to watch.

I'm personally nauseated by the fact that we were putting live humans on the moon in 1969 and now we're hailing something this basic in 2014 like it was an achievement worthy of note, or even footnote.


There's a pretty big goddamn difference between a country sending payloads/people to space, and a private company. Surely you understand this...
 
2014-04-25 09:32:15 PM

Elegy: VTC: Yeah, this article did a terrible job with facts on this point....I've read a few articles related to this recently and none of them seem to be accepting any facts other than those coming from Musk. He seems to be playing some weird info/legal/lobbying game in order to get around the traditional bid/competition process. Plus, what does Elon expect to launch for the government without heavy lift capability? SpaceX only has one type of engine operational and it's not a very big one. There is no way he could launch any of the bigger DOD payloads.

I-is this satire? Are you kidding with us? Or are you a ULA employee?

SpaceX got screwed out of designing and building a launch vehicle for the Air Force. Not a lift contract - an R&D and engineering project.

And here are a few little "facts" for you, you might be unfamiliar with. ULA is a consortium of big name defense contractors - the weapons oligopoly. As such, ULA receives heavy government subsidies in order to keep it afloat as a going economic concern, because the US government wants to preserve their domestic launch capabilities and there are no other competitors.

ULA's Atlas V rocket is rated at 9,800-18,810kg to LEO. It costs around $220m per launch. It relies Russian built RD-180 engines to fly. These launches are not commercially competitive, and the sole customer for the 54 Atlas V has been the US government. ULA also manufactures the Delta IV, which uses US built engines and costs about $170m per launch. While the Delta IV is a heavier lift platform and even has it's own "heavy" variant for even more power, the cost per kg to launch is still not commercially competitive; all but one of of the 25 Delta launches have been paid for by the US government.

And then there is SpaceX. SpaceX receives no government subsidies of the sort ULA is constantly suckling from the government teat. The current version of the Falcon 9 is rated at 13,500kg, so it directly competes with the Atlas V, and the Falcon 9 Heavy is in development to compete with the Delta IV.

The Falcon 9 costs about $54m per launch - 25% of what ULA's rockets cost to lift. And the engine to the Falcon 9 is built in the United States, not Russia. $54 million is commercially competitive with Europe and Russia, who dominate the launch market (the US typically has zero commercial launches in any given year). If SpaceX gets the reusable, laudable first stage working - and it very much looks like they will - Musk has said that the cost per launch for the Falcon 9 could drop as low as $10m a launch. Which is INSANE - that puts LEO payloads in the price range that private companies and universities are willing to pay.

What I'm getting at is this: FARK ULA. They are single handedly responsible for promoting the stagnation of the US launch industry, due to their preference for siphoning off that sweet sweet government money rather developing US space capabilities to be competitive with the rest of the world. They sit on their collective asses and outsource their major components to Russia because it's cheaper and easier that way, all the while charging the US tax payers insane prices per launch because they just don't give a shiat about innovation or cost controls - why change when you're making money hand over fist and you are literally the only game on town?

I hope Elon Musk gouges out the collective eyeballs of ULA and skullfarks the lot of them.


The last sentence raised this post's score from a 9.I'm pregnant to a 9.5/10.


/-0.5 pts for not using proper ad hominem
 
2014-04-25 09:42:42 PM

Johnsnownw: doglover: Unoriginal_Username: The progress of this company is fun to watch.

I'm personally nauseated by the fact that we were putting live humans on the moon in 1969 and now we're hailing something this basic in 2014 like it was an achievement worthy of note, or even footnote.

There's a pretty big goddamn difference between a country sending payloads/people to space, and a private company. Surely you understand this...


Logistically. In absolute terms, it's just the same old, same old with a spit shine.

Don't get me wrong, I'm hoping Elon does this shiat well and we're all in space this time next year for $30 and inflight movie is wonderful and no one has peanut allergies so we can get some decent snacks.

But the last time humans were on another celestial body, I wasn't even born, and all NASA seems to want to do with their ever dwindling budget is masturbate to RC Tonka trucks.

Panspermia isn't just a theory, it should be our goal. Let's find life on other planets, even if it's us.
 
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