Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

SpaceX Successfully Tests Nine-Engine Cluster

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the what-did-you-do-this-weekend dept.

Space 182

the_other_chewey writes "At their test facility in Texas, SpaceX, the privately funded space-flight company, have successfully tested their nine-engine cluster which is planned to provide the heavy lifting capability for their Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy rockets. The firing lasted three minutes (a full 'mission duty cycle,' i.e. a simulated launch) under full power, delivering 3.8MN (or 855,000 lbs.) of thrust. SpaceX have made a video of the test available. The Waco Tribune has a short report about it, with comments by locals."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

"Need Another Seven Astronauts" (3, Interesting)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872855)

Well, at least somebody elese is working darüber...

FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25872863)

So why didn't it go anywhere with all that thrust? Any physicists?

Mighty Putty (3, Funny)

MaxwellEdison (1368785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872937)

Billy Mays embedded the thrusters in Mighty Putty. They won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Re:Mighty Putty (2, Funny)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873143)

and cleaned up after with ShamWOW!

Re:FP (5, Funny)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873013)

So why didn't it go anywhere with all that thrust? Any physicists?

As you can see, it's bolted to the launchpad, which is in return bolted to earth.

They actually tried to move earth into a higher orbit to cure global warming, to it makes sense the rocket didn't seem to be moving relative to earth, but earth did together with the rocket.

Why you ask? To avoid planet Nibiru ofcourse.

Re:FP (1)

IchNiSan (526249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873695)

They were just nudging us fully into the path of the planet killer asteriod due to hit us in December 2012. These guys have a lot riding on their theories of the accuracy of the Mayan calendar.

Re:FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873715)

If they wanted to do this, they bolted the rocket engine upside-down. It needs to point UP to make this work.

Duh.

Re:FP (4, Funny)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873965)

Moving the Earth might have move us out of the way of that intergalactic highway that is being planned.

Re:FP (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874965)

Why don't you go the the planning dept at Alpha Centauri to make sure? Don't forget to take a flashlight with you.

Re:FP (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873029)

I'm not a physicist, but I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that it has something to do with those heavy steel/concrete ties seen in the video. If you can provide more than 35 meganewtons of restraint, the rocket isn't going to go anywhere.

(Not to say that such logic is bleeding obvious. /sarcasm)

Now for a real bit of discussion: Does anyone know how tall that test stand is. The thing appears to be HUGE! To the left of the stand you can see what appears to be power lines. An off-the-cuff approximation would suggest that the stand is 6 times taller than the lines. If we take a wild guess at the height of the lines (say, 15 feet?), we can guesstimate that the stand could easily be 90 feet or more in height!

That's impressive for a company who's only launch to date was an oversize firecracker in comparison to the rockets flown by their competitors. I honestly hope that what they learned with the Falcon 1 speeds development of the Falcon 9. A price war in the rocket industry would be awesome for long-term space access.

Re:FP (3, Informative)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873175)

Does anyone know how tall that test stand is.

The Falcon 9 first stage on top of the stand is about 25 m high (I've assumed it's half the total height of the Falcon 9). The stand appears a bit over 2x as high as that first stage, so 60 m/180 ft would be my initial guess.

Re:FP (2, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873489)

The Falcon 9 first stage on top of the stand is about 25 m high (I've assumed it's half the total height of the Falcon 9).

The Falcon 9 is 54.9 meters tall. The first stage is a bit more than half that height, so call it 30 meters.

Re:FP (3, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873671)

The website says the top of the BFTS ("Big Falcon Test Stand") is 235 feet high. Presumably this includes the blue "Stairway to Heaven" running up the side of the first stage, so I'd say the concrete stand is probably about 150 feet... having been up to the top I must say it's impressive, and a little scary. Fortunately theres an elevator up to the concrete platform, but only too steep stairs up to the top from there.

Also, while I love the company, I woudl say that they did just buy the site, including the test stand from another company that I can't remember the name of off the top of my head.

Re:FP (5, Informative)

bazookazuz (1337697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873759)

I work for the TX facility. The concrete tripod is 120' tall and the legs are 10' in diameter. The stage is 85' tall and 12' in diameter. You can see it 25 miles away when you are driving to work. It is pretty awesome (-;

Re:FP (1, Flamebait)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25875043)

So, these are FEET right? I mean, we wouldn't want another stonehenge miss communication [youtube.com] ;)

I wish you guys stuck to metric at least on slashdot...

Re:FP (5, Informative)

rabidkumquat (897955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873967)

850,000lbf (lbf = pounds force) is a relatively small load. It is easy to forget exactly how strong steel is in tension: using standard 50ksi steel (typical structural steel), only about 18 sq-in would be required to hold the rocket down (albeit with no factor of safety).

For comparison, the main cables in the George Washington suspension bridge in New York each carry ~260,000,000lbf [jhu.edu] , and are designed to resist almost 3 times that load. While the amount of thrust developed by the Falcon 9 is seriously impressive for a lift vehicle, it is trivial from a ground-based engineering standpoint.

There is a reason structural engineers work in kips not pounds (1 kip = 1000lb), and yes IAASE.

But how much is that in real units? (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874853)

Don't give me your new fangled lbs of force! Damned commie!

How much is that in real units, say the thrust value of unladen non-migratory African swallows?

Re:FP (4, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873103)

Awesome, simply awesome. Glad to see they passed the test, or at least didn't blow up. Hope they got some good test data. Ideally they were giving it some control feedback to make sure the gimbals etc that aim the rocket were all responding correctly, performing their orbital roll etc. Getting the most bang for the buck (without the bang!) since I'm sure this test cost a not-so-small fortune considering the fuel used.

As for the "why didn't it take off" question, it was pretty firmly fitted to the ground. Despite it's size and total impulse capacity, that's over a 3 minute span. It's not designed to lift more than itself and its payload, at a marginal acceleration. The thrust output is variable also, and can't be allowed to crush the payload with G-forces. Despite its massive size, it wasn't going to be going anywhere.

I'd be interested to know the power curve on the rocket. Most of the fuel is actually spent lifting the FUEL. From one viewpoint, the engine could be constant-thrust, and would accelerate slowly at first, and increase its acceleration as it consumed fuel and became lighter with the same thrust. Or it could back off the thrust as it got lighter, to prevent the g-forces from acceleration from becoming too great for the vehicle or its payload. I'm sure the power-to-weight-ratio could get really high as it nears the end of its firing if it were left at maximum thrust. Anyone happen to know the power curve or acceleration curve on ascent? I thought I read somewhere they try to keep the g-forces under 8g, and not for too long of a period of time, at least for crew.

Re:FP (4, Funny)

AJNeufeld (835529) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873273)

Glad to see they passed the test, or at least didn't blow up.

"No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow. What? Look, somebody's got to have some damn perspective around here. Boom, sooner or later. BOOM!"

Re:FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873679)

Awesome A B5 quote :)

Re:FP (3, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874087)

There are nine engines in a cluster. Burn time for the cluster is 178 seconds. All engines run at full throttle. At t+160s, they shut down a pair of engines to reduce the g loading slightly, but otherwise it's constant thrust. Remember, though, that liftoff acceleration is very mild -- about 1.2g, iirc. For a given engine thrust, you usually improve payload mass by adding tankage until it can just barely leave the pad.

Re:FP (1)

trongey (21550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874509)

What makes you think it didn't go anywhere? The thrust was diverted 90deg, so for 3 minutes it was exerting roughly 36 trillion lb/ft of torque on the planet. I don't know which way the diverter is aligned, so I can't tell you whether the conspiracy is to accelerate the Earth's rotation, decelerate it, or cause it to rotate sideways (that one would really suck).

Re:FP (1)

gregbot9000 (1293772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874661)

So why didn't it go anywhere with all that thrust? Any physicists?

Well you see Jimmy, scientists have big brains, so all they had to do was have a really smart one stand on it and weigh it down. This is also why they need such big rockets, to get scientists big brains up to space.

I'm sure you've never had that problem and could reach orbit in a light breeze.

How long before the tree huggers complain (2)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872869)

About how much CO2 these rocket things put out? I mean who really needs a rocket to go to the grocery store?

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (4, Funny)

ShadowBlasko (597519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872985)

Well, if you had read some of the comments, many of them already are complaining.

"What kind of toxins are we being exposed too!!!11!"

Yeah .. I much prefer this comment:
"By Jermiah November 23, 2008 12:24 AM | Link to this I quite enjoyed it. Nothing like a glass a scotch a lawn chair a cigar and 1.5 million foot pounds of pressure to make someone feel alive."

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (3, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873101)

I quite enjoyed it. Nothing like a glass a scotch a lawn chair a cigar and 1.5 million foot pounds of pressure to make someone feel alive.

Man, gotta love the smell of burning proppelant in the morning. I love this one:

Wow..Just observing the numerous misspelled words in your posts makes me realize why you idiots thought that the aliens were coming!

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873167)

"What kind of toxins are we being exposed too!!!11!"

Burned kerosene. If that bothers our poor environmentalist friends, then they might want to start a protest against Kerosene Lamps [wikipedia.org] , portable stoves, home heating (primarily Japan, UK, and Ireland), and jet engines.

Which reminds me. Greenpeace has released a commercial [gametrailers.com] decrying the toxicity of game consoles. It "stars" Mario, Master Chief, and Kratos. Trademarks for which they obviously don't have the rights. (Evidenced by the awful voice acting.) Worse yet, their claims are entirely specious, making bizarre and untrue claims about toxicity and lack of recycling. Hilarious in how bad it is, though.

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873363)

Circuit boards in general are made with toxic processes and often contain toxic chemicals in trace amounts.

I'm pretty sure the recycling of game console boards is just as bad as computers, meaning that it is a problem, but nowhere near as many game console boards are sold as PC motherboards making the issue barely worth discussing (about 70 million PCs were sold in the US in 2007, not including servers and laptops whereas just a few million game consoles were sold).

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (1)

ShadowBlasko (597519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873491)

Circuit boards in general are made with toxic processes and often contain toxic chemicals in trace amounts.

I'm pretty sure the recycling of game console boards is just as bad as computers, meaning that it is a problem, but nowhere near as many game console boards are sold as PC motherboards making the issue barely worth discussing (about 70 million PCs were sold in the US in 2007, not including servers and laptops whereas just a few million game consoles were sold).

Actually, its 1000 times worse, due to the concentration of burning parts around "recycling" centers.

Check out this 60 minutes segment from two weeks ago. It's hard to watch in places, watching 4 year old kids playing in old capacitors and lead solder.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4586903n [cbsnews.com]

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (1)

Your Anus (308149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874077)

Which reminds me. Greenpeace has released a commercial decrying the toxicity of game consoles. It "stars" Mario, Master Chief, and Kratos. Trademarks for which they obviously don't have the rights. (Evidenced by the awful voice acting.) Worse yet, their claims are entirely specious, making bizarre and untrue claims about toxicity and lack of recycling. Hilarious in how bad it is, though.

The Greenpeace commercial is protected by that 'fair use' thingy that the EFF is always going on about. Specifically, they are using the characters for parody.

Somebody already covered the 60 Minutes segment on Executive Recycling destroying the town in China.

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874847)

Greenpeace has released a commercial [gametrailers.com] decrying the toxicity of game consoles.

for anyone who didnt realize - the video is a joke /parody

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (4, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873213)

Haha, look at this one:

I am so angry at SpaceX! My children and I were very scared. How dare them conduct this test without letting us know! We live across from the McGregor Airport and our entire house shook and trembled. The sky was on fire. My 11-year-old son said he âoethought the sun was exploding.â I grabbed a jug of apple juice and made my kids go into my closet fearing the worse.

So, when you fear for the worse, you go into your closet with a jug of apple juice? "One apple a day keeps the doomsday away."

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (4, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873641)

What? Your closets aren't built to withstand the force of an exploding sun? Sheesh. Such shoddy construction work on houses these days.

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (4, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873703)

No. I follow Indiana Jone's way of hiding into nuclear-proof refrigerators.

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874135)

My wife and I saw the new Indiana Jones movie on DVD this past weekend. We both rolled our eyes at that part (as well as other parts). You kind of expect fantastic feats with Indiana Jones, but that stretches the boundaries even for the series.

Is it wrong that part of me saw that scene and thought "The Mythbusters should do a Movie Myths episode featuring surviving a nuclear blast in a lead lined refrigerator." (Searching the Discovery.com forums and seeing the countless other posts on the subject.... I guess not.)

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (2, Informative)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25875019)

You realize most of the Hiroshima survivors weren't even inside refrigerators, right? Just curious why that scene seems so unbelievable to so many people. There are people around today who were close enough to the blast that it destroyed the building they were in. They had to be dug out of the rubble of the building that collapsed around them. But they're still alive and kicking in 2008. Unless you're literally at ground zero, surviving a nuclear blast, particular the old A-bombs, really was pretty much as simple as ducking and finding cover. There are over 50,000 alive today who didn't even do that in Hiroshima and are still around...

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25874845)

Get off my fission-proof lawn.

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (1)

IchNiSan (526249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873739)

Don't drink the apple juice right away, wait a while. If the world doesn't end, then you will have something to drown your misery and loneliness.

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873763)

So, when you fear for the worse, you go into your closet with a jug of apple juice?

Considering the area, you have to mentally s/apple juice/hard cider

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874361)

For the kids of course.

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873945)

don't we all? man I have jars of concentrated apple juice and jugs of water in my closet just in case.

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874039)

You just know when there are "comments by locals" there's going to be a riot of fun:

Yeah SpaceX couldve let the news media know they were conducting a test. Out here in Hewitt we thought it was an earthquake. Things were shaking and I rounded up my family thinking what the hell is going on.

Because natural disasters let the news media know they're going to happen in advance.

I love that "rounded up my family". On horseback, by any chance? Or just with dogs and guns?

Nutters.

Re:How long before the tree huggers complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25875053)

Some quick math yields ~363 gallons of burned kerosene. That's less than I expected (someone check me?), but if I even have the right order of magnitude, then the morning rush hour in Waco produces more CO2.

I must be tired... (5, Funny)

thesymbolicfrog (907527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872871)

I read, "The Waco Tribune has short report about it, with comments by lolcats."

I need either more sleep or less internet.

Re:I must be tired... (4, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872935)

I always read this company's name as "Spa-sex".

"Im in ur spaceship... freein' ur spidrs"

Re:I must be tired... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873629)

ceiling cat sez apostrofez are for dogs

Re:I must be tired... (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873351)

Or both.

Re:I must be tired... (4, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873519)

I can has orbital trajectory?

Re:I must be tired... (1)

meadowsoft (831583) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873785)

I read, "The Waco Tribune has short report about it, with comments by lolcats."

I need either moar sleep or less internets.

Fixed that for you.

Originally it had ten engines. (3, Funny)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25872987)

But gollum bit one off and fell into a volcano.

Re:Originally it had ten engines. (4, Funny)

FourthLaw (1365279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873095)

I'm not interested until they make one that goes to eleven.

Re:Originally it had ten engines. (1)

BobSixtyFour (967533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873305)

I'm not interested until they make one that has over NINE THOUSAND engines.

Re:Originally it had ten engines. (1)

FourthLaw (1365279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873731)

Yeah...but...this one goes to eleven.

But... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873063)

can it run Linux?

Nine engine cluster? (4, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873071)

I'm surprised they didn't name the rocket the Beowulf 9.

Re:Nine engine cluster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25874007)

but does it run linux?

Uninformative video (3, Interesting)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873081)

The great big plume of fire and smoke is impressive, but I would have preferred a pre-ignition closeup of the engine cluster.

Re:Uninformative video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873827)

I'd like schematics and blueprints but I don't think that's gonna happen either...

Re:Uninformative video (1)

mogul (103400) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873881)

And a closeup after tge fire has died away too.

Congrats SpaceX (4, Insightful)

Diagoras (859063) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873151)

I'm looking forward to the launch. Anyone know when that is? I've heard everything from January to March from several people. Anywho,let's hope that SpaceX succeeds. Otherwise we'll end up depending on Russia from 2010 to 2015 for our man-capable launch systems with all the political consequences that entails.

Re:Congrats SpaceX (5, Informative)

ComputerInsultant (722520) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873447)

Unless NASA releases money for COTS-D very soon, we will still have a manned launch gap. The Falcon 9 and Dragon are man rated, but to launch people into using the Falcon 9 and Dragon, you need much more. You need a Launch Escape System and a Emergency Egress System. Neither of these is currently in development at SpaceX and both have a long lead time to develop.

Without the additional COTS-D money to start development on these systems, SpaceX will not carry people until they find the money from other sources to fund these development efforts.

Re:Congrats SpaceX (2, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873525)

This test was the last major step before shipping it to the cape, so it seems the schedule on the website with delivery scheduled by Q408 is accurate. As far as when it launches... my WAG is by summer. From what I can tell getting it to the cape is largely a move to show the new administration "hey, remember us and COTS", so there may be a bit more work that has to be done on it.

Here's hoping the lessons from F1 carry over and there aren't new issues to discover.

Re:Congrats SpaceX (1)

x1n933k (966581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873541)

I'm confused, does SpaceX own Slashdot or something. Aren't there a few Private companies pushing Rockets into Space for Corporate and Private venture? How come these guys get coverage?

[J]

Re:Congrats SpaceX (1)

bazookazuz (1337697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873801)

They get the coverage because they are relying on the COTS money. If the public is on your side, then congress is as well. The other companies (orbital & blue origin) have a bit more cash at their disposal so they don't release anything to the public.

Saved on gas (3, Funny)

bossanovalithium (1396323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873155)

The price of gas must've made the test irresistible..

Fear in the comments sad (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873237)

The amount of fear that is evident in the comments is a sad commentary on the type of leadership that Bush has exhibited over the years. People actually thought that there was some type of attack going on. Fear is a tool that has been wielded very effectively in manipulating the people.

Re:Fear in the comments sad (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873317)

Actually, there is someone there saying 'this is what happens when you elect Obama.'

Re:Fear in the comments sad (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873357)

Yeah, let's all blame it on George Bush and act like it wasn't there before or like no cultural factor (of old origin) has to do anything with that.

Re:Fear in the comments sad (1, Flamebait)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873563)

You are correct. Texans are not overwhelmingly fearful idiots because Bush was President...

Bush was President because Texans (and others like them) were overwhelmingly fearful idiots and voted for him.

Re:Fear in the comments sad (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873635)

Especially in the middle-of-nowhere-Texas.

Oggity boogity! Terrrrsts gunna git ya! Boogity boogity boo!

And... (4, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873269)

The headline in today's Arachnid Advertiser states:

Biped Puppets Successfully Complete Engine Test. The Grand Plan Still On Schedule.

Very cool. (1)

holmstar (1388267) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873345)

Wow, wonder what the concrete/ceramic pad that is under that thing looks like after three minutes of exposure to that.

Kind of gives me that "want to put a penny on the tracks" feeling. But I suppose the penny would need to be welded down, and there wouldn't really be anything left afterward...

Re:Very cool. (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874113)

I wondered that too. Aren't most engines tested sideways or upside down? If nothing else, you don't have to worry as much about your test stand holding up.

Re:Very cool. (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874207)

Nevermind. a minute's worth of research would have shown me that vertical is common and upside down is rare.

O.o (4, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873381)

the privately funded space-flight company, have successfully tested their nine-engine cluster

But can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these? If only global _cooling_ was our problem..

Cool! Go Science! (3, Insightful)

crescente (1334029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873419)

With all the cries for help in the finance world, it warms my heart to see a science/research based company giving me some good news. Cheers!

Crappy website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873435)

Their website is a mix from hell. Half-CSS, half-tables. Who the hell did that?

3... 2... 1... You're FIRED!

Texans... (1, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873493)

Shit... the comments are funny. I've heard sounds and explosions that had me thinking "WTF?!?!" before - from a massive propane tank explosion, to unexpected sonic booms, to an earthquake, to a tank surprisingly rumbling down the street... but worrying that it's an ATTACK, or a nuclear explosion???

No wonder they all voted for Bush... fearful idiots.

Re:Texans... (0, Flamebait)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873699)

Not just Texans. A great portion of small-town "red state" America lives in constant self-induced fear that their oh-so-strategic water tower and corn silo are minutes away from being nuked by the rooskies or bombed by the Ay-rabs. Too much watching FOXnews if you ask me...

Re:Texans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25874773)

Too much watching commercial news if you ask me...

There ... fixed that for ya.

Re:Texans... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25874833)

I live in waco, I didn't know about the rocket launch ahead of time and it was friggin scary. The sky turned orange and the ground was rumbling.

I'm educated and a democrat (not a fox news republican). When the sky turns orange at NIGHT and the ground rumbles, you don't know what to think but you gut says, "This isn't good"

After finding out it was a SpaceX test, I was like, "Cool! I wish I had known about it to take my kids out there to watch it".

Re:Texans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25874881)

Papers will publish the most outrageous statements. They're not going to waste time quoting someone who has a clue, because that doesn't sell newspapers or drive traffic to their site.

Leno and Letterman do high-larry-ous 'person in the street' bits all the time in LA and NY, proving that idiocy is not limited to Texas. Of course, Texas doesn't really advertise as being witty and urbane like LA and NY, just nicer and cleaner.

Re:Texans... (1)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874255)

These people are just morons. No need to go making ridiculous generalizations about the rest of us...

Re:Texans... (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874461)

with a name like DaFallus I hope you don't expect me to take that serious ;)

Amateur home video of launch (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873501)

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=i9n6rYoSGNQ

Frightening the cattle (5, Interesting)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873607)

The old Rocketdyne [wikipedia.org] engine test center was located a few miles outside my home town many, many years ago. The old timers said that the noise was ungodly when they tested their engines. Among the many things they would complain about in this rural area, was that the cows would become so upset, they wouldn't give milk.

When I was a college student back in the early 80's my friends and I used to love to take my jeep out to explore the "ruins" of the old test center. Most impressive were the deflectors (don't know what else to call them) that shunted the rocket blast 90 degrees to vertical. They were enormous. I have no doubt that the locals weren't exaggerating too much when they described the noise and vibration from the engine tests.

Re:Frightening the cattle (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873713)

Dude, you were in Chatsworth? I lived in Chatsworth for 12 years -- now in West Hills.

Re:Frightening the cattle (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874545)

The noise from a large missile motor is incredible. I have worked at a test site in a previous life and it is something you never forget. So, yes, I'm not surprised that the cows got upset - I am surprised that they didn't stampede and broke through the fences.

The best comment from TFA (5, Funny)

holmstar (1388267) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873797)

"I live in Valley Mills, just taking the last steak off the grill. Space-X shook the T-Bone off the grill hit my dog on the head, he thought I smacked him, he bit my ankle. My wife just getting into our water bed shook up a huge wave, threw her out of bed. She blamed it all on me. Milk in frig.is now butter-milk, the cats,will not leave the kitchen. My son couldnâ(TM)t hear his stereo, cranked it up, blew the windows out of the neighbors house. Guess Iâ(TM)ll be replacing them on Sunday. It was a great light show!"

To the MOON (1)

kieblerh (1414625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25873809)

Can we go to the moon now? I mean go BACK to the moon now?

Re:To the MOON (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874701)

Sorry. Falcon 9 is just another member of a rather crowded ~20t launchers, so no lunar capability beyond what we have now. I can see it being a commercial flop myself, because it doesn't have tremendous price advantages over much more proven launchers such as Proton and Ariane 5.

WoW! A cluster out of those ?! WoW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25873973)

WoW! A cluster out of those ?! WoW!

Rail Gun... (1)

ahow628 (1290052) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874057)

What if we just built a couple mile long rail gun up the side of a mountain and use that to shoot stuff and people into space?

Re:Rail Gun... (3, Informative)

holmstar (1388267) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874151)

You would need one HECK of a heat shield to withstand flying at escape velocity so deep in the atmosphere. I'm sure it could be done, but it would look like a meteor flying up instead of down.

Video from farther away (2, Informative)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874245)

I came across an additional amateur video from farther away after submitting the story:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=i9n6rYoSGNQ [youtube.com]

SpaceX' video unfortunately lacks the proper amount of bass
to really give a sense of the sheer power shown.

SpaceX Responds to Frightened Texans (5, Informative)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874355)

Dear Greater Waco Area Residents, We appreciate your feedback regarding our recent test as it allows us to improve our notification process to the surrounding community. Since we began operations in 2003, SpaceX has conducted over 2000 tests, and nearly ten have been multiple engine tests at similar times of day. During these previous tests, we did not receive complaints from citizens in your area. The weather on November 22, with low clouds and cool temperatures, drastically affected the distance the sound and light travelled. We began test procedures for this particular test at 7:00am on Friday, Nov. 21 and executed it as quickly as possible, working through hundreds of pages of procedures designed to keep the community, staff, and hardware safe. While no further tests are planned for this stage in McGregor, in the future we will increase our notification to include local news media and law enforcement in McLennan, Coryell, Bell, and Falls counties. As a resident of Central Texas for over 25 years, with family in the area, it is extremely important to me, as well as all of SpaceX, who choose to raise their families in the area, that our testing is safe for local residents. The propellants used are non-toxic and environmentally friendly, In factâ"the Falcon 9 burns a higher grade of kerosene (more environmentally friendly) than a 747 and burns only about half of what a single 747 flight does. The smoke you may have seen was composed mostly of steam and dust. SpaceX strives to be a good corporate neighbor, bring high technology jobs to the area, and stimulate the local economy. We are proud to have operations in McGregor and make use of facilities which have historically played such an important role in American history. Engines which propelled American astronauts to the moon and back were developed and tested here, as well as the Sidewinder and Phoenix missiles. The launch vehicle engines tested last night will soon take cargo, and eventually crew, to the International Space Station. Falcon 9 represents the only medium to heavy lift rocket that is 100 percent Made in America and with this vehicleâ"SpaceX will bring leadership in launch back to the US. The leadership role is currently held by former Soviet Republics, France, and China. http://www.wacotrib.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/communities/breakingnews/entries/2008/11/23/spacex_issues_statement_on_con.html [wacotrib.com]

Seems the Waco locals... (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874679)

...are concerned about this new 'fire' fad. On the heels of flying machines and horseless carriages its just too much culture shock for them.

Other 747 comparisons (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 5 years ago | (#25874775)

The thrust of this test is appoximately equivalent to the gross weight of a 747. So you could use it to make a 747 hover like a Harrier!

This comment is classic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25874807)

By VirtualBlair

November 23, 2008 7:27 AM | Link to this

I just figured it was the âoepossibleâ mini black holes, burrowing through to the center of earth, being created by the new european supercollider. At that point, I figured, it was too late to call friends and familyâ¦which is why you should always treat people with respect and thankfulness when you say goodbyeâ¦.we are not thankful however, that space X is so free to do whatever they want and dont have to let the general public know about it.

You sFAIL i7. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25874901)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?