Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, April 8, 2016

Yow! SpaceX Did It!

They landed a Falcon-9 booster on a barge:

The people there seriously lost their shit and with good reason. Pay attention to the shots of the barge, it was not exactly a stable platform.

Bravo Zulu, guys.


BadTux said...

This is the equivalent of spitting out of the cockpit of your plane at 10,000 feet and having it land in a 1 inch circle drawn on the ground below. I.e., absolutely amazing.

hans said...

o lordy... Musk owns it, he fk'n owns space transport... the guy has a touch of elegance he gives to what he does

Deadstick said...

Wonder how the bird gets stabilized once it's down. It's a pretty tall object for the small footprint of those landing legs, and it would be tough to make the landing accurate enough to snap into an automatic clamp.

OTOH, with the fuel depleted, the cg wouldn't be as high as it looks to be...

Joe said...

Is it just me, or does everyone think that "Elon Musk" sounds like a character from Foundation?

samuel glover said...

As if the landing itself isn't Heinlein-esque enough, the mission is transporting an inflatable compartment to the ISS. It's almost like every 1950's-vintage "Argosy" story, brought to life.

I'm curious to see how this landing will affect launch economics. I expect SpaceX has published projections, but it'll be interesting to see the numbers after, say, ten launch-recover-refurbish-relaunch cycles.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I understand the economics of this. Wouldn't the rocket need twice the fuel load to come back to Earth like that? What is the upside in landing a big metal tube after its payload has been put into orbit?

BadTux said...

No, it wouldn't need twice the fuel load, because what it's landing (the lower stage shell plus engines) is much lighter than what it launched (the payload plus the fuel to get the payload to orbit). Still, you're correct that it does use more fuel than simply launching a payload to orbit. The cost-effectiveness of that depends on the SI (specific impulse) of the fuel being used, plus the cost of that fuel. They claim the economics work out. We'll see.

Comrade Misfit said...

The economics of it include the ability to refurbish and reuse engines that cost over a million dollars apiece (the Falcon has nine in its first stage), not to mention fuel pumps and other hardware.