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At Long Last, a Private Cargo Spaceship Takes Off (Video)

Roblimo posted about 2 years ago | from the ad-astra-per-aspera dept.

Space 137

Tuesday morning at 0344, right on schedule (and it had to be right on schedule), Elon Musk's baby finally left the launch pad on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). Two babies, actually: the Falcon 9 launch vehicle is what we watched as it took off from Cape Canaveral -- the first private spaceship headed for the ISS -- with the Dragon spacecraft perched on its nose. The Dragon carried over 1000 pounds of supplies and experiments for the ISS. The launch went off without a hitch. But don't stop holding your breath quite yet; Dragon isn't scheduled to dock at the ISS until Friday.Slashdot now accepts reader-submitted video, either edited or raw. Email robinATroblimoPERIODcom for details.

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Popping sound (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40081701)

After watching both this and Copenhagen Suborbital's launch, I noticed that the rockets seem to "pop" at a few Hz. I don't recall hearing this on NASA launches, does anyone know why this is?

Re:Popping sound (3, Funny)

medcalf (68293) | about 2 years ago | (#40081741)

Well they can't rap, silly!

Re:Popping sound (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40081817)

Because NASA wanted to protect your sensitive ears and make sure that you heard their BS PR statement, not the launch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehNdHndyUDo&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL2B72F35CE512D431

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsRuJ37kyZg

Re:Popping sound (3, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 2 years ago | (#40081827)

I haven't watched the video yet, but when I was present for one of the shuttle launches a few years ago there was a point when it was pretty high when the sound definitely started "popping". It was fairly high by that point, so the sound was traveling quite a distance and was mostly the low frequencies by the time it got to us, but the popping was clearly noticeable.

Re:Popping sound (1)

poity (465672) | about 2 years ago | (#40081869)

It happens http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuzuWmno-X8 [youtube.com] (1:35 mark)
Don't know why though, but since it's the same sound at low speed as well as high speed it's probably from the engines.

Re:Popping sound (5, Informative)

ThreeKelvin (2024342) | about 2 years ago | (#40081905)

If you mean the "popping noise" the TM65 engine that Copenhagen Suborbitals testet made at startup, then it was a bit of engine oscilations. It's most likely caused by the engine being run at a low fuel pressure. The fuel will ignite in the ignition chamber, causing the pressure to rise, giving a higher exhaust flow, causing the pressure to drop, giving less exhaust flow, resulting in more fuel in the ignition chamber, that ignites, ...

At higher fuel pressures the oscilations are dampened. (But they do sound awsome!)

I don't know if that's the case with SpaceX's Falcon, but I'm pretty sure that if they have engine oscilations it's nothing they can't handle.

Re:Popping sound (4, Funny)

longacre (1090157) | about 2 years ago | (#40081945)

NASA probably used special $3 billion taxpayer-funded microphones for their launches, whereas cost-conscious SpaceX bought theirs at Best Buy.

Re:Popping sound (5, Funny)

KPU (118762) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082411)

So SpaceX paid more?

Re:Popping sound (5, Funny)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082817)

This is aerospace engineering, not kid stuff. You have to buy the optional Monster Cables and add the extended warranty.

Re:Popping sound (2)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082241)

After watching both this and Copenhagen Suborbital's launch, I noticed that the rockets seem to "pop" at a few Hz. I don't recall hearing this on NASA launches, does anyone know why this is?

I'm not sure, but I've heard antecdotally from some people that are more knowledgable that these frequencies result from some collision/mixing of the hypersonic exhaust with the surrounding still air. If it were actually something in the rocket, say like low frequency combustion instability in the rocket engine itself (aka chugging), I'm guessing that would shake the rocket to bits. AFAIK, chugging tends to be more in the 20-200Hz range, not really low frequency like a few Hz...

Maybe on NASA launches they put down more water under the launch pad (which might tend to dampen these frequencies when the rocket is near the ground and when you can hear them the most).

Re:Popping sound (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40083255)

FWIW, the space shots of the 60's, as I remember them, used to "pop". Back then I just thought it was a limitation of the audio hardware in use at the time.

Re:Popping sound (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40083359)

Well, one possibility is that the sound waves are cancelling each other out. At the speed the rocket is travelling, the source of the sound is travelling at rates near equivalent to the wavelength of the sound. For example, at 20 hz, the sound waves are 17ish metres long. Travelling at 612 km/h, in 1/20th of a second, the rocket could have travelled half a wavelength away. Essentially, the popping you hear could be extreme Doppler shifting.

Of course, it could also be that burning over a thousand of kilos of kerosene and oxygen per second is not a smooth process, and there may be sonic side effects.

It will all be fine (5, Insightful)

bobstreo (1320787) | about 2 years ago | (#40081723)

Scotty is on board.

Re:It will all be fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082145)

Insightful? Interesting?
It's Funny FFS

Re:It will all be fine (4, Informative)

bledri (1283728) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082445)

Insightful? Interesting? It's Funny FFS

It may be funny, but it's also true [time.com] .

Re:It will all be fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082451)

Insightful? Interesting?
It's Funny FFS

No, it's true. COTS Demo Flight 2 has some of James Doohan's ashes on board.

Re:It will all be fine (1)

twocows (1216842) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082701)

Funny doesn't get you karma.

Re:It will all be fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082927)

+1 ironical

Way Cool (2)

busyqth (2566075) | about 2 years ago | (#40081739)

One Rocket, TWO takeoffs! [slashdot.org]

And now we can cut off space funding. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40081759)

After all, private enterprise can do everything better, faster and cheaper than the evil horrible fascist government which only steals money from people in the form of taxes!

Therefore, we must cut off all space funding. This will stop the siphoning away of wealth that occurs to the bloated and incompetent NASA!

---From the Desk of the Unholy Melding of William Proxmire and Ron Paul.

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40081813)

Shut the fuck up, dufus.

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082167)

sarcasm meter seems to be suffering some sort of malfunction there.

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (4, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082565)

I know you think you'e being clever, but the fact is that NASA worked very hard to prevent any private development of space flight capabilities for several decades.

-jcr

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (1)

vuke69 (450194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082643)

My kingdom for a mod point...

+6 Truth

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082909)

Source material to back up this claim?

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40084209)

Prior to the Challenger disaster in 1986, NASA had grabbed the entire space market in the US. Private companies couldn't launch payloads on rockets other than the Shuttle. And there's a long history of NASA (and US Congress) acting to protect businesses that had long been contractors for NASA. For example, consider the oligopoly of space launch providers, including the Shuttle, that had existed after Challenger through to the DoD's EELV (Evolutionary Expendable Launch Vehicle) program which encouraged competition between Boeing and Lockheed Martin's launch vehicles and creation of new launch vehicles just below the Shuttle's range.

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082947)

If it had been left to the private sector, we'd wouldn't have got to the moon, mars, the heliosheath. And despite the fact that earth orbit is profitable, probably no private sector project would have made the investment or taken the risk to go to space at all.

Space X can only do what it's doing now because it's standing on the shoulders of previous public sector projects. And heck this very project is being paid for by the public sector.

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40084347)

If it had been left to the private sector, we'd wouldn't have got to the moon, mars, the heliosheath. And despite the fact that earth orbit is profitable, probably no private sector project would have made the investment or taken the risk to go to space at all.

Perhaps not though such things weren't left to the private sector so we won't know for a while. But what we can say is that public sector projects make up in inefficient, graft, and sheer incompetence, what they gain in resources. Hence, we've been to the Moon, but haven't returned in almost four decades. And we've never been to anywhere else outside of Earth orbit (when are you sending people?).

Meanwhile private projects while generally far smaller than public projects are greatly more effective with the money they spend. Perhaps it wouldn't be the case that in the absence of public investment that we'd have a space presence as advanced as present. But it's worth noting that even despite the presence of NASA and other large government space programs that there has been a healthy amateur rocketry groups and such. My view is that development of the technology necessary for space development would occur anyway.

A possible rebuttal here is that NASA and such inspire these amateur groups. But it's worth noting in reply that the amateur groups precede NASA's creation by about a couple of decades. The same culture that hacks cars, planes, boats, and so on also hacks rockets.

Moving on, there has been a remarkable lack of utility from the vast amount of money that has been spent on space activities by the civilian parts of the governments of the world. The stuff we associate with human society such as people and economies, just aren't present in quantity in space despite more than half a century of government activity.

It's just not that big a hurdle for a purely private effort to overcome.

Space X can only do what it's doing now because it's standing on the shoulders of previous public sector projects. And heck this very project is being paid for by the public sector.

And the question here is how high are those shoulders? And what have those shoulders done for us lately? Currently, it appears that the only thing the government is good for in developing space, is the role of check writer. That's not much of a role.

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082985)

I understand that one-sentence refutes and counters without evidence are commonplace on slashdot, so while I am intrigued, I will be somewhat apprehensive until you support that statement.

You're probably right, so would it really hurt to provide a few supporting links and some more information to help the rest of us out here that don't know what you know?

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40083433)

And private industry worked very hard to prevent any meaningful development of NASA's space flight capabilities.

Ok, so they were really working for as much of they could of the money from the government, it had the same effect.

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40084419)

Of course, they did. That's typical rent-seeker behavior whether public or private. It serves both to protect their captive revenue stream and avoid actual work which costs money.

But you can't rent seek (at least for half a century or more) without a government or other really stable and powerful entity to provide the noncompetitive revenue stream.

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40083483)

+5 Interesting? If I said the previous Pope worked very hard to prevent any private development of space flight capabilities for several decades, and provided as much evidence as he did, would I be modded up too?

Now that I think about it, I'd be modded up by fundamentalist Christians, just like he was modded up by fundamentalist Libertarians. The only thing I like about the first is the funny hats, so could you guys get Ron Paul to wear one?

One last thing: private companies have been developing space stuff for decades. Or you think Boeing wouldn't be interested in the contracts?

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40084211)

You have that right. This goes back to fight between Howard Hughes and LBJ during the space race. While it doesn't get much mention anymore. Before Apollo, there was the Surveyor missions from 1966 to 1968. Hughes put soft landing probes on moon at a tenth of the cost of Apollo. He had designs for putting a pressurized capsule in the same launch mechanism and even a plan for commerical sponsorship. LBJ and his cronies stopped it turning Apollow and the Space Shuttle into a jobs project. Hughes was a very bright cookie and immedate saw the pork and overdesign in the Apollo and Space Shuttle making it not commercially viable. Why is this happening now? You can blame Bush. ;)

Re:And now we can cut off space funding. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40083797)

No but we are realist. If we can get the privatised military industrial complex to focus on privatised space exploration instead, millions of people wont have to pointlessly die in fabricated wars. So although the privatisation of space exploration will inevitably be chaotic and many people will die in space and on the ground (privatisation doing it on the cheap and falling to the ground all over the place) overall we will all still be far better off. All they need is lotteries for a space trip so the cheetos crowd can get in on it, as well as most of the rest of us and we are set. A bit of space exploration competition wouldn't go astray either as least three competing groups would be great.

Sputtering bunsen burner (1)

janimal (172428) | about 2 years ago | (#40081791)

I'm assuming the noise is more due to the mic cutting out than actual sound that the rocket made. Are there mics that can capture the roar, so it can be played back in DTS? :)

Re:Sputtering bunsen burner (3, Funny)

electron sponge (1758814) | about 2 years ago | (#40081939)

I'm assuming the noise is more due to the mic cutting out than actual sound that the rocket made. Are there mics that can capture the roar, so it can be played back in DTS? :)

They should have used Monster Cables.

Re:Sputtering bunsen burner (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082151)

Yes. using real microphones that use 48Volt phantom power it would have done a great job at it. Problem is Slashdot's budget is $12.50 and they cant hire anyone that is experienced or skilled in video, so they have to learn as they go.

Buy a real field mixer, some real microphones (like a shotgun on a boom with an audio person) and record to a audio recorder and not to the $200.00 camcorder.

they really need to spend about $3500.00 on some real gear (if your video camera does not have XLR mic inputs, it's not good enough) and hire a second intern. Although I am assuming it's just him and a tripod. I am certain their budget for video is even lower than I am guessing.

Honestly they should not be even trying to do HD. SD is just fine for web video like this, a old Canon XL1 would be high end for their use and would record audio better, a used Senheiser ME66 on a mic stand next to the tripod powered from the Camera's XLR inputs and they would be better equipped than 90% of the other websites out there.

Re:Sputtering bunsen burner (2)

Roblimo (357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40083669)

Reality = the $800 Panasonic camcorder and Azden shotgun mic + Audio-Technica wireless lav & handhelds that are the Slashdot standard video gear are at least as good as a Canon XH A1, which was the high-def successor to the XL1.

XLR mic inputs are only really necessary if you're dealing with music and need big audio bandwidth. And nowadays, you might as well use a Zoom H4 for sound, and it will provide phantom power and give you two channels of directional sound through external mics plus 2 channels of ambient. This assumes you either own a copy of pluraleyes or know how to synch audio manually.

 

Oy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40081805)

Someone get Timothy a proper lavaliere rig and nice in-ear monitors (if he really needs it).

Audio-Technica and Etymotic... call it maybe $500 and you'll be gtg for years.

From the legal department (1)

skids (119237) | about 2 years ago | (#40081829)

But don't stop holding your breath quite yet

...the lawyers wanted us to pass on that they advise against issuing this command to your online minions.

Re:From the legal department (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | about 2 years ago | (#40081903)

Wheel... Of Money!

An accounting marvel (5, Informative)

linuxwrangler (582055) | about 2 years ago | (#40081839)

A commenter on NPR today made an interesting point. There is a lot of talk about "first private..." but NASA has relied heavily on private industry since the beginning. Lockheed Martin, Morton Thaikol, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon, Rockwell Colllins, Teledyne, Honeywell, Kodak, Perkin-Elmer.........

And Falcon launched from a government built/owned/maintained launch-site.

What *is* different is the accounting. Instead of a bevy of cost-plus contracts there is now a single-point fixed-cost provider which, surprise surprise, seems to be able to deliver at a much lower cost/kg.

And no, this does not detract from their accomplishment. Getting to space is still difficult and risky. Congratulations to everyone involved regardless of who writes their paychecks.

Re:An accounting marvel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40081899)

Now if only going to the hospital meant going to a single-point fixed-cost provider.. Last time I was in one I got bills from over 20 different entities!! Just plain stupid if you ask me.

Re:An accounting marvel (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40083481)

You're living in the wrong country. Around here, going to the hospital is a completely bill free experience.

Re:An accounting marvel (3, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 2 years ago | (#40081947)

I think the other difference is that the company built the vehicle without providing the design spec. A private company built a product as best as it could instead of delivering a product 'to-spec'. Which admittedly to-spec has created some great vehicles like the Delta-IV. And a Delta-IV isn't *that* much more expensive to launch. We just didn't pay for its design and testing this time.

Re:An accounting marvel (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082155)

Delta-IV is about 3x as expensive to launch as the Falcon 9. Delta-IV is pretty much the most expensive way to put things in orbit now that the shuttle is gone.

Re:An accounting marvel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082611)

Delta-IV clocks in at 1.6 million pounds. Falcon 9? Half that.

That's just one figure, but still, I think it shows why a more detailed examination might be in order.

Re:An accounting marvel (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40083431)

Are you talking about Delta IV Heavy? Falcon 9 Heavy will also have more payload.

Re:An accounting marvel (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40081959)

There is a lot of talk about "first private..." but NASA has relied heavily on private industry since the beginning. Lockheed Martin, Morton Thaikol, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon, Rockwell Colllins

Who relies on whom?

Re:An accounting marvel (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082105)

Yeah, nothing NASA launched was built by NASA. All of it was built by private companies and sold to them for use.

It's all PR. I'll call it Commercial when they launch from their facility and have a paypal for me to pay for each KG of payload I want to send up in LEO.

Re:An accounting marvel (4, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082173)

In the past, the vehicles have been turned over to NASA (or other relevant space agency) whereas here, SpaceX has maintained ownership of the launch vehicle and capsule. It's one of the reasons that NASA has been so paranoid over the launch is because it has less direct control of it.

Re:An accounting marvel (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40084229)

In the past, the vehicles have been turned over to NASA (or other relevant space agency)

Only if they were purchased by NASA (or other relevant space agency). Otherwise, they (or their launch capacity) went to the whoever was writing the checks. NASA isn't the only game in town, and hasn't been for decades. Private vehicles carrying private payloads have been taking off for decades.

Re:An accounting marvel (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082669)

Yeah, you could call Lockheed Martin, Morton Thaikol, Boeing,, et al "private companies", but I think the difference is that none of them would suck a deep breath without a government contract signed, sealed and delivered.

SpaceX designed, built and tested their Falcon rocket and Dragon spacecraft on their own dime.

Yes, I know NASA provided some funding, but that was extra funding. You can bet Elon Musk would have funded the whole thing himself if he had to.

Re:An accounting marvel (3, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082751)

AC gets it right.

Also, add in that SpaceX is willing to eat any cost overruns. The other "private companies" (government contractors are no such thing) continue to demand additional funds if there are cost overruns.

When SpaceX is allowed to have their own spaceport, and they're launching a new rocket every day of the week for five years straight to meet demand for a $500,000 trip to Mars, NASA won't even be in the picture.

The only downside / risk (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40083037)

I don't see SpaceX coughing up the $$$ to rebuild the ISS if they crash into it during the docking procedure.

Re:The only downside / risk (0)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40084385)

Why should they? Most of the parties vastly overpaid for the ISS. If I spent a billion dollars for a beat up 1976 Chevy Impala, insurance isn't going to pay a billion to cover me.

And for NASA, if SpaceX or another private competitor can't dock, then there isn't much value in the ISS except as a funding vehicle for the Russian Space Agency.

Re:An accounting marvel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40083911)

It's not that private industry is inherently more efficient than government. It is that private interests corrupt government and cause it to shovel taxpayer money to them. It's not quite so easy to do when the money you are in control of is your own money. But they still corrupt government legislation and enforcement and regulations to favor them, it's just not quite so easy to see in $ terms.

Blame the corrupt systems in place. There is nothing inherent about private vs public in terms of efficiency. A corporations is run as a far more strict command economy than the likes of the soviet union had ever seen. That does not make it inherently inefficient.

Re:An accounting marvel (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40084267)

A corporations is run as a far more strict command economy than the likes of the soviet union had ever seen. That does not make it inherently inefficient.

Actually, yes it does. The calculation argument Ludwig von Mises leveled aganst the Soviet Union can also be used to explain the bloated inefficiency of major corporations, as Kevin Carson has demonstrated. The bigger a company gets, the further its command structure is removed from inputs, and so it grows more irrational until it cannot function capably under its own power. Such entities require outside assistance and defence from competition to survive at all.

  You hear lots about economies of scale, but most people don't realize that there are diseconomies of scale, too; and without massive outside support in the form of regulations, licensing barriers, and outright bailouts, these diseconomies are insurmountable.

Re:An accounting marvel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40084005)

Any evidence for that? Or are you just being an irrational space cadet?

Re:An accounting marvel (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082879)

What *is* different is the accounting. Instead of a bevy of cost-plus contracts there is now a single-point fixed-cost provider which, surprise surprise, seems to be able to deliver at a much lower cost/kg.

Than what? Apollo? The Space Shuttle? Soyuz?2010s technology is more efficient than 1960s and 1970s technology. Who da thunk it?

Re:An accounting marvel (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#40084299)

Of course NASA relies on the expertise from those industries. Why not? Why re-invent the wheel? On the other hand NASA had the funds, and could take the huge risks, of developing space technology without any known benefits - without even knowing whether it'd be possible.

Also those private companies have the means to actually build stuff. They have the know-how and the tools to put stuff together, so when NASA develops a design, they hire someone to build it for them.

On the other hand, companies like SpaceX can only become a success because of the enormous research effort done by NASA over the past decades. They can learn from what NASA has done: things that work, things that don't. And use that as a starting point for their own rocketry. Also it's their first flight, so naturally they will use an existing launch pad instead of building their own.

It's just like an ecosystem, everyone relies on everyone else. For finance, knowledge, development, construction, etc. And it's not just space flight, almost all technology and engineering is developed by a combination of private and public research - but most publicly funded research is not done by a high-profile agency like NASA but by institutes like universities.

And to come back on the launch pad: it's generally considered a task of the government to provide infrastructure, including roads, railways, airports, power lines, water lines, sewage, etc. So why not launch pads? Mind I'm not saying they should provide them for free: let the user pay, but the large upfront investment in such things, the general economical benefits and the prevention of double work is what makes it a typical government task.

Private? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40081851)

"At Long Last, a Private Cargo Spaceship..."

Uhh, didn't all the money come from NASA???

Re:Private? (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40081967)

"At Long Last, a Private Cargo Spaceship..."

Uhh, didn't all the money come from NASA???

Shhh. You're going to soft-boil all the free market hard-ons.

Re:Private? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40082053)

And pop all the Space Nutter delusions.

Re:Private? (1)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082231)

No, silly. The private sector is perfectly willing to put their record profits in line to further a high risk venture with uncertain returns since the tech is well understood. Why the only reason that it was not the private sector that launched Sputnik is because the Soviets didn't have a private sector!

Re:Private? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082523)

No, Elon Musk has put in about $100M of his own money, with another odd $100M from other private investors. They've gotten some money from DARPA, deposits on future launches. NASA has kicked in $400M or so, but that has been based entirely on milestones successfully achieved

Re:Private? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40084065)

In other words, the vast majority of the money has come from NASA. Thanks for clearing that up.

Re:Private? (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082627)

Private, public, who cares?

What matters is that we keep it going.

Re:Private? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082803)

"At Long Last, a Private Cargo Spaceship..."

Uhh, didn't all the money come from NASA???

No, actually it didn't.

NASA ponied up some money when they did the COTS idea (and will pony up more when SPaceX starts regular cargo flights to the ISS next year), but SpaceX had been developing Falcon 1 & 9 and Dragon before NASA got involved.

Docking on Friday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40081853)

From a layman's perspective, I'm confused as to why it takes so long to get to LEO? How fast does this compare with the space shuttle? Why does it take so long to dock?

Re:Docking on Friday? (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40081917)

From a layman's perspective, I'm confused as to why it takes so long to get to LEO? How fast does this compare with the space shuttle? Why does it take so long to dock?

It's not McDonald's. You don't just drive up to it. Like a beautiful woman, you have to chase it... No, I didn't really say that.

Basically, they're taking their time checking systems out. They are doing a close approach pass to ensure that the communications and control links work before taking it in close. A Soyuz capsule has already crash-parked into the ISS with much consternation and concern. They're just being really, really careful.

Re:Docking on Friday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082227)

It's not McDonald's. You don't just drive up to it. Like a beautiful woman, you have to chase it... No, I didn't really say that.

Yes you did, just there.

Re:Docking on Friday? (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082375)

Like a beautiful woman, you have to chase it... No, I didn't really say that.

I believe the technical term is stalking.

Re:Docking on Friday? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#40084331)

I'm always impressed with such dockings, considering they happen while both craft travel at many kms per second, yet their speeds are to be virtually equal. So you have to speed up to a certain speed, and then make sure the speed is exactly the right speed, and the exact right direction, and that the craft is at the exact right position when reaching that speed and direction.

And I don't think that firing your thrusters is such a great idea when in close proximity to another space craft: I would expect that the matter thrown out by the thrusters could damage and push away the other craft if directed at it.

Re:Docking on Friday? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#40081957)

10 minutes to go 100 miles vertical seems pretty fast to me...

Especially when you consider that they don't just fly straight up, and they end up flying at 7km/s.

Re:Docking on Friday? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#40081963)

Dumb me - it's 200 miles.

Re:Docking on Friday? (3, Insightful)

CapOblivious2010 (1731402) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082113)

Yes, getting 100+ miles high is the easy part - getting that high with 17,000 MPH of sideways velocity is where it gets tricky. Without that much sideways velocity, you just fall back down.

Re:Docking on Friday? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082757)

Yes, getting 100+ miles high is the easy part - getting that high with 17,000 MPH of sideways velocity is where it gets tricky. Without that much sideways velocity, you just fall back down.

I'm just gonna go ahead and say both are pretty tricky.

Re:Docking on Friday? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#40082087)

Takes so long? If your car could drive straight up as fast as it could go, it would take 2 hours to get there. 10 minutes is insanely fast for 200 miles.

Call me when your renault can do 0.33 miles per second.

Re:Docking on Friday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40084185)

What are these miles you speak of?

Re:Docking on Friday? (5, Interesting)

fgodfrey (116175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082123)

It only takes about 10 minutes to get to orbit. I believe the Shuttle and the Progress & Soyuz spacecraft all took about 2 days to dock with ISS. I believe most of that time is spent matching the orbits perfectly and "catching up" with it in orbit (you don't want to approach too fast and slowing down requires fuel, and fuel is weight so you want to use as little as feasible).

Dragon is taking awhile longer because this is only the second time that the Dragon has flown and the first time docking. So, they're going to run a whole bunch of tests to ensure that they can control the spacecraft from the ground and then a bunch more to make sure the astronauts on the ISS can control it. Then, finally, they'll let it get close enough to dock. I suspect (though I have no actual information on this) that once they get past the "test flight" phase, it will take a similar amount to time to Soyuz/Progress/Shuttle to get there.

Not bad, Slashdot (5, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 2 years ago | (#40081861)

  • Using video for action, text for info. Check.
  • Very little "talking heads". Check
  • Geek interest. Check
  • Short, and to the point. Check

Not bad. That's the way to do video.

Re:Not bad, Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40082079)

they could have tried not being completely wrong with the text though. "right on schedule" would have been during the first launch window.

Re:Not bad, Slashdot (2)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082109)

It was right on the rescheduled schedule. :)

Transcript (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082699)

Agreed - and also not much to transcribe as a result.

-----

Title: "Fourth Time's a Charm" - The SpaceX Falcon Finally Gets Off the Ground
Description: It's been a long time coming, but a private spaceship is finally heading for the International Space Station. Yay!

00:00 TITLE
A shot of Timothy Lord in front of the countdown clock at Cape Canaveral is shown.

00:00) Countdown voice guy
7 minutes

00:01) Timothy
As you can see from the countdown clock behind me, it's now just under 7 minutes until the historic SpaceX launch to the International Space Station is set to happen.
Hopefully, we won't have any engine glitches this time, and it will actually go off.

00:12) TITLE
The SlashdotTV title sequence fades into view. It reads:
Timothy Lord, reporting
from Cape Canaveral, Florida

00:18) TITLE
The view changes to that of the Falcon 9 rocket at its final countdown stages. The Video is credited as: (NASA video clip)

00:17) Countdown voice guy
5... 4... 3... 2.. 1... 0.
Aaand launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, as NASA turns to the private sector to resupply the International Spac Station.

00:33) TITLE
Various shots of the rocket's progression are shown from hereon without specific commentary outside of that of the control room with the background noise being the roaring rumble of the Falcon 9 rocket.

01:45) TITLE
The image mixes and changes to a view of the control room with personnel carefully watching the mission and congratulating each other on the successful launch, before the rocket's progression is shown once more.

02:47) TITLE
The view fades slowly back to that of Timothy Lord on the grounds at Cape Canaveral.

02:47) Timothy
The Falcon 9 lift vehicle has now done its job.
It's much more to the Dragon capsule's mission before it can deliver its half ton of supplies, and must go through an elaborate sequence of moves to approach, and then dock with, the ISS itself.

02:57) TITLE
The view changes back to the Falcon 9 rocket as it ascents further into space.

02:57) Timothy
That docking is slated for Friday.

03:13) TITLE
The view of the Falcon 9 rocket fades out as the SlashdotTV logo fades in.

-----

Although I think the editing is not in-sequence. A few shots of the 'close-up' of the engine with little plumage are shown spliced between shots where the rocket's exhaust is unmistakable. The live stream I watched showed the engine close-up fairly late into the launch.
I also do wish they had included, or were able to include (perhaps that's SpaceX's property, rather than government?) footage of the solar panel deployment. The control room crew were much, much more excited about that then they were about the successful launch - to the point of one of the control room people on audio breaking her calm demeanor in announcing telemetry data and practically giggled. It was really great hearing that, and the elation that followed, in the audio.
On the other hand, it's cool seeing the control room shots in this video - I don't remember seeing those in the stream I watched. Quite different from what one might expect.

Downloadable? (3, Insightful)

vanyel (28049) | about 2 years ago | (#40081895)

Tsk Tsk for slashdot of all places to embed video that's not at least compatible with downloadhelper so one can download the video and watch it on a decent screen without strbuffering: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMu_x7zcTrs [youtube.com]

Re:Downloadable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082501)

Plus, and I'm not trying to troll, I don't like Timothy in these /. videos.
He comes across as uninteresting, barely has any charisma, doesn't have anything interesting to so, basically is a waste of time to watch.
I think I've watched 2-3 /. videos before I stopped watching them altogether, simply because I didn't want to see and hear Timothy again.

Details (5, Informative)

optimism (2183618) | about 2 years ago | (#40081907)

For the minority of /. readers who care about the details, I highly recommend downloading the COTS 2 Press Kit from SpaceX.
It provides tons of details and graphics describing the mission objectives, schedule, cargo manifest, vehicle specs, and much more...

http://www.spacex.com/downloads/COTS-2-Press-Kit-5-14-12.pdf [spacex.com]

(I am not affiliated with SpaceX, but I like what they are doing)

Re:Details (1)

Fewchor (2642787) | more than 2 years ago | (#40083097)

I like the pictures /.

dupe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40081961)

Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl
Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl
Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl
Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl

Dupe, Dupe, Dupe, Dupe of Earl
Dupe, Dupe, Dupe of Earl
Dupe, Dupe, Dupe of Earl
Dupe, Dupe, Dupe of Earl

As I-I walk through this world
Nothing can stop The Dupe of Earl
And-a you, you are my girl
And no one can hurt you, oh no

thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40081999)

hey guys Nice Fucking Video!!!

Ahhh night launches (1)

robi2106 (464558) | about 2 years ago | (#40082061)

Nothing is like watching a rocket launch at night. fantastic experience.

Re:Ahhh night launches (3, Funny)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082901)

Trouble is it was too dark to see the milk-bottle they launched it from.

Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40082071)

Slashdot needs to hire someone who knows how to edit video!

Wow, huge Flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082183)

"You need to have the Adobe Flash Player to view this content."
Still no HTML5 on /.? Ahhhhh...

Re:Wow, huge Flash! (1)

HybridST (894157) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082553)

Still no slashdot video on my ipod.

Re:Wow, huge Flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40083375)

Just watched on iPhone.

Historic (1)

thereitis (2355426) | more than 2 years ago | (#40083101)

SpaceX has come a long way. I believe this launch will go down in history. Great job!

Two launches today? (1)

taj (32429) | more than 2 years ago | (#40083801)

Wow, two launches in one day. That's amaz..

Nevermind.

God give Speed, John... Elon Musk (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 2 years ago | (#40084433)

(You'd better get the reference :)

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