×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

SpaceX Falcon 9R Vertical Take-Off and Landing Test Flight

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the failure-to-crash dept.

Space 105

schwit1 (797399) writes "The competition heats up: SpaceX [Wednesday] released a new video of the most recent Falcon 9R vertical take-off and landing test flight. The flight was to test the deployment and use of fins for controlling the stage during its return to Earth. Watch them unfold and adjust themselves beginning at about 1:15 into the video. In the second half you can see them near the top of the stage. Yet another video from SpaceX of the world's most blase cows. You can imagine new cows to the herd, reacting to the launch as the conditioned cows just yawn, just another 100 foot tall rocket launching and landing nearby. Nothing to see here."

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

Fins (3, Funny)

Otter Popinski (1166533) | about 5 months ago | (#47274387)

Aaaand 3... 2... 1... Deploy flyswatters!

Re:Fins (3, Interesting)

CWCheese (729272) | about 5 months ago | (#47274625)

Interesting to see how the fins managed the torsional direction while guiding the rocket laterally. Much smoother than the thrusters used on the DC-X demonstrator. Those flyswatters are a remarkable advance in stabilizing the rocket for touchdown.

Re:Fins (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 5 months ago | (#47274647)

Fool - they're for the sideline steakburger stand. Cooked by rocket fuel!

(Don't tell the cows.)

.

We've Got Trouble (-1, Offtopic)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 months ago | (#47274413)

I pooed my pants again.

Kerbal Space Program (2)

Piata (927858) | about 5 months ago | (#47274459)

If Kerbal Space Program has taught me anything, it's that giant rocket engines are incredibley hard to control going forward. I can't even fathom the engineering skill and knowledge of physics required to make a rocket fly near flawlessly in reverse.

Re:Kerbal Space Program (5, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47274505)

Well, you don't fly a rocket in reverse ... you fly it less forward than usual. ;-)

Re:Kerbal Space Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47274605)

I remember the first time I tried building a Munar Lander, and then decided to test fly it on the surface of Kerbin. That ate up quite some time before I managed to land it without a tip-over or an explosion.

Re:Kerbal Space Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280985)

Thanks to KSP, I am a champ at landing rockets now. If they added cross winds though....

Re:Kerbal Space Program (2)

richtopia (924742) | about 5 months ago | (#47274587)

If KSP has taught me anything, it is that computer controlled rockets (MechJeb) can land vertically very reliably.

Too much credit to cows ... (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47274477)

the world's most blase cows. You can imagine new cows to the herd

I have it on the authority of several friends who have been involved in the raising of cows ... cows are far too damned stupid for what you're ascribing to them.

I believe the entire cow decision tree comes down to: Does it look like it will eat me? Are the other cows moving and do they seem scared? Can I eat it? Can I poop on it? Is it time for a nap?

Everything else, apparently, is mostly random chance and blind luck.

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47274553)

There's got to be a Farside cartoon in there somewhere.

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47274665)

There's got to be a Farside cartoon in there somewhere.

For the record, if Gary Larson wishes to use that to create a Far Side cartoon, he may use it free of charge. ;-)

More Far Side would be awesome.

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#47274799)

Obligatory Far Side [mcphedranbadside.com]

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 months ago | (#47275245)

Is it bad that my first reading I had substituted Farscape for Farside?

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47275451)

They're very dumb animals that are hard to scare with things they should be scared of. On offroad rallies they aren't bothered by trucks driving right past them at high speed. And if they get in the way, they usually don't want to move. I once had a bull posture as if he was going to charge my truck, but he changed his mind after a couple of seconds and lazily began to stroll out of the way. Honking and revving didn't make him speed up.

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47276021)

well, you haven't spent much time around horses, then.

cows can be relied upon to figure their way out of a pasture sooner or later, don't
often injure themselves, and are generally fat, dumb and happy.

horses, on the other hand do none of these things. they get scared and break
legs (and that's the end for the horse), they seldom manage to get out. cows are
downright einsteins in comparison.

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47278033)

well, you haven't spent much time around horses, then.

As a rider, no. But around horses and people who do, quite a bit.

cows are
downright einsteins in comparison.

I know for a fact you can train a horse. I've seen it.

I have never seen a trained cow.

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 5 months ago | (#47278169)

Horses are also very good at body language. There are a lot of very subtle cues that a good horseman learns, that a horse already knows. IMHO there's good evidence that, like dogs, we have co-evolved horses to be good at working with humans. At one time I could make my horse turn either from the front or back, moving forward or backward or staying in one place, with my arms folded and just turning my head and adjusting my posture.

The historical way of teaching horses is rather crude, but has improved greatly in the last two decades. It basically is the equivalent to shouting "42!" (or any meaningless phrase) repeatedly until the horse does what you want, at which point you reward the horse. The horse has no idea what 42 means, it just keeps trying things until it gets rewarded (or, in older times, it stops getting hit.)

But, as a former-fellow-horseman once told me, horses have two purposes in life - to eat and get away. :) I'd add one more thing about every 21 days, except for geldings.

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (1)

NZKiwi (317525) | about 5 months ago | (#47278587)

well, you haven't spent much time around horses, then.

cows can be relied upon to figure their way out of a pasture sooner or later, don't often injure themselves, and are generally fat, dumb and happy.

horses, on the other hand do none of these things. they get scared and break legs (and that's the end for the horse), they seldom manage to get out. cows are downright einsteins in comparison.

Cow's get out because the herd is effectively the animal equivalent of a superfluid; A superfluid will also escape from an unsealed container and it's not remotely intelligent...(except in the case of fiction)

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47276199)

Considering the tiny spectrum of intelligence of the various mammals, it entertains me how keen humans are to rank them (and themselves).

I believe the entire cow decision tree comes down to: Does it look like it will eat me? Are the other cows moving and do they seem scared? Can I eat it? Can I poop on it? Is it time for a nap?

I believe the entire human decision tree comes to this too, although "pooping on" (sometimes) has a metaphorical meaning.

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47278737)

as you've proven

Re:Too much credit to cows ... (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 5 months ago | (#47278135)

You left out eating pieces of barbed wire. One must be VERY careful when stringing the fence that no pieces get left around, or they are likely to be eaten.

So their "Can I eat it?" decision seems to revolve around capability rather than likely results.

confused (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | about 5 months ago | (#47274551)

I'm still confused how you can fire a rocket in reverse going mach 17 and not have problems with exhaust doing something to the nozzle.

also, start at 2m20s to watch the cows run away!

Re:confused (1)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 5 months ago | (#47274595)

Did you notice some shrapnel at the 4:00 mark?

Re:confused (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47274617)

Air resistance will slow the rocket most of the way down and then when it starts to fall they use the engine to land.

Re:confused (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 5 months ago | (#47274669)

Simple. You don't.

First stage separation happens at a very modest mach 6 (which accounts for part of the 30% performance loss when reusing the 1st stage) and pretty high up at a fraction of the normal atmospheric pressure. There had been doubts as to whether you could use rocket engines that way or not, but as it turns out the answer is: hell yeah.

Re:confused (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | about 5 months ago | (#47276827)

mach 6 not so bad still much impress

Re:confused (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 5 months ago | (#47274811)

I don't think Terminal Velocity is at some Hyper Mach number. Why not use the engine to slow the craft down to a use gravity for a vertical decent?

Re:confused (1)

waimate (147056) | about 5 months ago | (#47277099)

also, start at 2m20s to watch the cows run away!

And at 4:20 as it lands, the cows run back again. Very suspicious.

Re:confused (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | about 5 months ago | (#47277181)

lol

Flyout and back plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47274601)

On a space station launch from the cape, the first stage separates 180nm down range with considerable velocity away from the launch site.

What flight path does SpaceX propose to use to get in a position to use this landing method?
    How much additional take off weight will this path require?

Re:Flyout and back plan (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 5 months ago | (#47274661)

If I remember correctly, the stage is so light by that point that they believe they can turn around and fly back using 10% of the fuel. That cuts payload somewhat, but a 20% lower payload for 10% of the price would still be a big win.

The other option is to launch such that there's a convenient spot to land around where the stage would come down. That would take much less fuel, but you have to fly it back to the launhch site afterwards.

Re: Flyout and back plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47274761)

Why can't you just drive it back? It's got fins; surely it has wheels too!

Re: Flyout and back plan (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 5 months ago | (#47276051)

Why can't you just drive it back? It's got fins; surely it has wheels too!

Yeah, but it corners like a whale.

Re:Flyout and back plan (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 5 months ago | (#47276877)

You wouldn't have to fly it back to the launch site; the Falcon 9 travels by road, and the diameter (3.66 metres) was specifically chosen to be the largest diameter that can be transported by truck on regular roads. It's a cost-saving measure.

Re:Flyout and back plan (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 5 months ago | (#47278189)

In a real launch the vehicle is a couple of hundred miles downrange at separation. I'm guessing that one of the purposes of having a launch site in Texas is that then they can let the stage coast downrange some more, and land it at Canaveral. This would require less energy than returning to Texas. However Canaveral is pretty far downrange, so my guess may be bogus. This also depends on what type of orbit the launch is intended for.

Re:Flyout and back plan (1)

kuldan (986242) | about 5 months ago | (#47280311)

This is wrong, they said specifically that they aim to land back at the launch site, for quick refuel/restart (less than 24h turnover in production). No plans to return to other pads and carry via road/waterway.

Re:Flyout and back plan (1)

mknewman (557587) | about 5 months ago | (#47274667)

I believe the first stage makes an orbit before de-orbiting via a burn, comes in head first with an ablative heat shield, and flips over once it's roughly subsonic. The details are still sketchy but from what I heard the first real 'landing' on water was approximately 1 mile off course. Musk wants 300 ft on next flight and on a pad at the cape by end of the year.

Re:Flyout and back plan (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 5 months ago | (#47274851)

Huh? No the first stage never makes it into orbit. Otherwise you wouldn't need a second stage and it would be a SSTO vehicle.

Re:Flyout and back plan (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 5 months ago | (#47275027)

You're referring to the second stage. The first stage never get's anywhere close to orbit.

Thank you Elon (5, Interesting)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 5 months ago | (#47274715)

I know Elon Musk has his haters, even in the nerd community, and they have their reasons. But personally, I am thankful beyond thankful for him, his companies, and many fine employees. There is no one out there working so hard to make the Earth a better place while also opening the doors to space in order to ensure the survival of our species. I find it interesting that the business ventures he lines up are not only geared toward making a better Earth, they simultaneously serve the purpose of developing crucial technologies we would need to colonize Mars. The man is a genius, and yes I'm a fanboy.

Re:Thank you Elon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47274783)

He's a modern Howard Hughes. Mars is a fantasy, no one's going anywhere. Let alone this geek religion of colonizing the universe. Get some perspective you software nerds. Physical reality isn't like video games, OK?

Re:Thank you Elon (2)

queazocotal (915608) | about 5 months ago | (#47275099)

In 12 years, Musk has gone from having no involvement in space to actually having a company that's designed and flown several rockets.
Actually having a first stage that is reusable (the first stage of the last rocket launched hit the ocean slow enough that if it'd have had legs, and been on land, it'd have been reusable with little more than refueling)
Having actual customers for a new rocket which exceeds all current launchers lift capacity is also notable.
Mars is a hell of a stretch, yes. But he's already come a long way.

The costs for mars are generally costed without assuming renewable launch. If this can be gotten working, a lot of the costs go down dramatically.

Re:Thank you Elon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47276277)

Yes but he hasn't actually done anything that hasn't been done before. You're extrapolating that to things that no one's done before.

Do you see that maybe there's just a little bit of a difference comparing the two?

You know about the logistic curve?

You think that he's going to magically overrule physical and engineering limits that no one else has before? Including the USA at its social and energetic peak?

Come on. The guy is an overgrown kid with money. No one's going anywhere. Least of all to a dead, empty hostile rock floating in a cosmic void blasted with radiation.

It's a fantasy that will never die, and the way you geeks defend it is like a religion. You never question it, you just blindly repeat the same tired old arguments.

We have everything we need right here. We're already on a rock, and we're already in space.

We don't even have the Concorde anymore but you guys drop your trousers every time you see a picture of a rocket thinking Elon is going to pick you to be his personal bumboy on Mars. Come on.

Re:Thank you Elon (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 5 months ago | (#47282455)

Yes but he hasn't actually done anything that hasn't been done before. You're extrapolating that to things that no one's done before.

No-one in the West has built rockets so cheaply before. Look at Arianespace floundering because they're planning to build a new rocket that no-one will want to use if SpaceX are offering similar reliability for a fraction of the cost.

No-one has ever landed a first stage after launching a rocket into space. SpaceX haven't quite achieved that yet, but their last demo clearly brought it down to sea level and would likely have recovered the stage if it had returned over land.

Re:Thank you Elon (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 5 months ago | (#47274983)

I'd mod you up if I had points. Elon Musk is a true visionary of our times. I hope he continues to have success with his current endeavors, and even more with future projects.

I can't think of anyone who is changing the world in constructive ways like he is.

Re:Thank you Elon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47275089)

Bill Gates?

Re:Thank you Elon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47276265)

If by constructive you mean erroneous software patents.

Re:Thank you Elon (4, Insightful)

towermac (752159) | about 5 months ago | (#47275013)

I'm right there with you.

I believe that a landable full sized rocket is somewhat of a big deal. I know we've been hearing about it for a while, but seeing is believing.

I needed some good news today.

Re:Thank you Elon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47275175)

100% agreed. This man is probably the first engineer to be a public hero in many young peoples life times.

Re:Thank you Elon (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 5 months ago | (#47276487)

He's many things but an engineer he is not.

"In 1992, after spending two years at Queen's School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where he received a bachelor's degree in economics from the Wharton School. He stayed on a year to finish his second bachelor's degree in physics. He moved to California to pursue a PhD in applied physics at Stanford but left the program after two days to pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations"

By the time he finished his economics degree, he could probably work out for himself that engineering is not the path to riches. Paying OTHER people to do engineering, on the other hand...

Re:Thank you Elon (1)

queazocotal (915608) | about 5 months ago | (#47280279)

Not having a formal qualification does not - in other than the strict legal sense that is almost meaningless make you not an engineer.
Being a civil engineer - for example - would not particularly help developing rockets.

Spending ones own time to gain an understanding of the mechanics of rocketry well enough to be able to do broad conceptual design with somewhat realistic numbers that you hand off to others to check and implement is quite possible.
  This is the normal role of a lead engineer in a project.

Re:Thank you Elon (1)

WrongMonkey (1027334) | about 5 months ago | (#47276763)

I don't hate Musk, but he's not the first rich guy to have a vanity space program that ultimately goes nowhere. I'm still waiting for Bigelow Aerospace to open a space hotel with transportation provided by Virgin Galactic and Armadillo Aerospace.

Re:Thank you Elon (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 5 months ago | (#47277413)

Bigelow is providing a module [wikipedia.org] scheduled to fly on the ISS beginning next year. Their more ambitious activities are waiting on SpaceX's man rated launch vehicle.

Re:Thank you Elon (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 5 months ago | (#47278029)

The F9R is not a full size F9 stage 1. The test *still* only flies up and down. When will it fly a 100 miles down range? It didn't perform a hypersonic pitch-over at 200,000'. This test is nothing more than technoporn for you to masturbate over. It looks like SpaceX knows their audience.

Re:Thank you Elon (1)

kuldan (986242) | about 5 months ago | (#47280319)

It will do so when they have the permission to fly out of McGregor, where the Falcon9 Dev-2 will be stationed. Where they are right now, they are not allowed to do acutal launches, so they have to wait.

Also, they test on production flights right now, see CRS-3 last time or the upcoming AsiaSat flight in a few days.

Re:Thank you Elon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47278401)

This is total bullshit.
Starting with the deceptive moniker "Falcon9R".
This is a small vehicle, and not even a scaled 9-engined Falon9.
This doesn't have to propel a load half way into space then land; all it can do is go up...come down...a few hundred feet.
NASA and the Russians were doing the same vertical landing on the Moon and Venus in the 1960's.
Maybe Elon's own small penis compels him to rehash 50-year old technology in the shape and length of the penis he never had.

This demonstrates NOTHING other than a waste of taxpayer money.
NASA and ESA [slashdot.org] already tested and scrapped reusability.
Elon's insecurity about his manhood translates to money put of taxpayer's pockets.
The loser also can't beat the Russians for ISS supply pricing; more money leaking out of taxpayer's pockets.

Re:Thank you Elon (1)

gargleblast (683147) | about 5 months ago | (#47279073)

I wish I was a loser like Elon Musk.

Re:Thank you Elon (1)

queazocotal (915608) | about 5 months ago | (#47280293)

The test stage shown in the video above is a test vehicle used to test - amongst other things the aerodynamic surfaces.
The prior launch of falcon 9 had a first stage which came down in the sea, at a low enough velocity that if it was on land, it would have landed safely.
The aerosurfaces tested yesterday will help enormously in fine control and reduce the need for lighting the engine during some parts of the descent or fuel for vernier engines on the proper full sized and weight stage.

Re:Thank you Elon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47284139)

It doesn't take away from the fact that reusability is false economy as far as NASA and ESA are concerned.
Elon Musk is beating a dead horse with my tax money.

But if you want to get down to details, you mentioned grid fins are effective down to ~80m/s (#47280333).
In which case "FR9" should be on the ground in ~12 seconds from 1000m.
In the video, "FR9" took at least 40 seconds to descend 1000m, and I didn't perceive any dramatic acceleration (i.e. constant speed).
Ergo, the grid fins had no useful aerodynamic effects during this particular test?

Another point is if you look at existing grid fin examples [wikipedia.org] , the fins have dimensions comparable to the diameter of the missile.
"FR9" fins appears WAAAY too small (beyond the fact that "FR9" wasn't descending anything close to 80m/s).

The informed viewer can conclude nothing other than a waste of taxpayer money.

Re:Thank you Elon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47284167)

oops, that should be "F9R".

Re:Thank you Elon (1)

kuldan (986242) | about 5 months ago | (#47280335)

You are aware that they already did the landing (albeit in water) on CRS-3 with a fully orbit-capable production Falcon9(R-dev)? They turned around, slowed down, and soft-landed in the water, exactly what was planned for that flight. The next one will be on water again, but aims closer to the cape, and so on. It is an iterative concept... and, what you said Falcon9R does not do (and is a scam for it) it will do later when they have the new test site in texas ready to go, which they are currently lacking permissions to use.

TL;DR: They are doing what they said they were doing, and they incrementally increase the height/flight paths of the rockets.

The Cows (1)

NoSalt (801989) | about 5 months ago | (#47274863)

They did not like that. Watch them scatter.

Smells bad. Another video? (0)

Greg666NYC (3665779) | about 5 months ago | (#47275051)

It still smells bad after last Hollywood scandal "Apollo moon landing"
Do we need another disaster with fake movies?

Re:Smells bad. Another video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47275229)

Do you have to work at sounding that stupid, or does it come naturally?

Re:Smells bad. Another video? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47275293)

You are one stupid cunt.

New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (4, Interesting)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about 5 months ago | (#47275071)

If you watch the Tesla news lately, I think it is apparent that the current American launch monopolists have initiated a wide ranging propaganda and political campaign against SpaceX. Examples of this are here [washingtonpost.com] and here [bloomberg.com] , as well as comment boards on various articles about Space X. The memes I have noticed emphasized are first and foremost that SpaceX is cutting corners (aimed at legislators), that Space X is the beneficiary of "corporate welfare", and that Musk is a "communist bum" (aimed at right-leaning readers).

One of the primary reasons I think this is evidence of an organized campaign is the timing. Space X initiated the campaign against the Russian rocket engines being used by ULA, as well as objecting to the bulk purchases of launch contracts by the Airforce from ULA, thus locking Space X out of a significant number of launches before it gains certification. I can imagine this as a directive from ULA exectives being given around that time. Such campaigns typically take a few weeks to work-up. They take studies of public opinion, come up with themes to base their campaign around, and then test those themes with the public, often with focus groups. This lag of a few weeks for propaganda campaigns is typical when an organization suddenly decides to initiate a campaign based on new information. Watch for it next time you see a government or corporation being attacked by a new threat. This lag of two or more weeks between threat and response is typical I believe of an organized propaganda campaign.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47275515)

and that Musk is a "communist bum" (aimed at right-leaning readers).

Hahaha they called the guy who is closest to one of their mythical Randian supermen a communist bum!? LOL!

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (2)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 5 months ago | (#47275687)

And who is it that actually buys Russian rocket engines? ULA

Who makes their own engines in California? Space-X

You don't understand politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47277405)

Generic Republicans (the country-club sort who routinely get duped into supporting RINO candidates) are generally most-concerned with "the economy" and "national security" (which from their viewpoint protects the economy). Any accusation by America's old established famous and reliable defense contractors that a new guy from South Africa (not the US) who's in bed with Obama (getting tax money for Tesla as "green" subsidies AND for SpaceX under a program competing against the traditional aerospace providers) is a "commie bum" WILL have an impact. The vast majority of this type of Republican is either as ignorant of (or HATES) Ayn Rand every bit as much as the most-liberal Democrat - "Atlas Shrugged" was an equal indictment of the crony-capitalism of establishment Republicans as it was against the toxic blend of Crony Capitalism and Socialism advocated by Big-Government Democrats.

The type of Libertarians, Conservative Republicans, and TEA Partiers who embrace Ayn Rand's cautionary tales are generally fans of SpaceX and the giant crony-capitalist corps will fail to sway them with the "commie" style slurs... which is why they are ALSO pushing the "corporate welfare" attack. Good PR flaks tailor their messages to their audiences. These flaks apparently are more-sophisticated than you (knowing the different "buttons" they need to push with the different groups they need to influence) but not quite sophisticated enough to realize that the libertarians and TEA Partiers already KNOW about the cronyism the big defense contractors are involved in and already know that it was one of these firms (Lockheed Martin) that bought its rocket engines from the "Russkies" rather than employing hard-working Americans (so much for "national security" and "patriotism"...)

Your ignorance about anybody who is not a left-winger leads you to some bizarre ideas like the conclusion that this propaganda is one item aimed at one group who are ("obviously", to you) stupid-enough to fall for the contradiction. Sorry, but YOU are the dummy; you are apparently so insular in your politics that you think everybody who's not a leftist is "the same" .... sorta like some ignorant bigot who cannot pickout a particular black guy in a line-up because he thinks "they all look alike"

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 5 months ago | (#47275713)

I am a right leaning libertarian and I think Musk is doing well. It is his business and he can try to accomplish whatever he wants.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about 5 months ago | (#47279321)

I am a right leaning libertarian and I think Musk is doing well. It is his business and he can try to accomplish whatever he wants.

I too believe that Elon Musk is awesome. He embodies the best of the free enterprise system. The problem is that most on the right, and that includes the funders of the tea party movement, espouse policies that will result not in a proper system of free enterprise where the best and brightest rise to the top, but rather a system where entrenched players act ruthlessly to maintain there positions of power. Whenever a small player looks too competitive, they will just absorb that player.

The idea that the removal of government power will result in a world where super-humans like Musk will be free to make life better for all of us is, I believe, a delusion. The simple fact is that you can never, ever eliminate the State and its power. There will always be some organization making laws that all society must follow. What is happening in the US is that the power of the State has migrated into private hands. Congress is now, for all intents and purposes owned by private corporations, who get Congress to write laws in their own interest (they are already writing laws to hinder the disruptive Space X) And if Congress lost the ability to control society, the power would then migrate into the hands of the largest corporations, which would basically mean a return to a feudalist society of lords and serfs. And judging by the fact that you are spending time posting on a plebian board such as slashdot, you are likely to be a serf, and not a lord. Doesn't sound very libertarian to me.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 5 months ago | (#47280619)

The State will always wield its power badly. The more power you give them past what is 100% absolutely needed results in worse than what you want to be protected from. Always.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about 5 months ago | (#47280961)

The State will always wield its power badly. The more power you give them past what is 100% absolutely needed results in worse than what you want to be protected from. Always.

You completely missed my point. If you try to eliminate the democratic State, the corporation will become the State. Only it will not be restricted by the laws of a democratic government. It will make its own defacto laws.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 5 months ago | (#47281111)

No one said anything about eliminating the government.

Every single time you hear about reducing government power over its people you can only hear "Destroy the state, Anarchy Rules!"

This is childish. What people are saying is that the State has for quite some time now over stepped its righteous authority over the people and started to become our parents. It has gotten so bad that when you even mention it the masses flip out and wonder why some evil bastard wants to steal all the free shit they "Come up on" from others.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about 5 months ago | (#47282141)

So then, what is the purpose of the State?

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 5 months ago | (#47282429)

National Defense, Infrastructure, Foreign Relations, Border Security, Protecting Individual Rights, Protecting trade between the states, Ensuring a uniform set of laws that normal people can understand and follow.

Off the top of my head. You could look to the constitution. There you will find the actual enumerated powers of the Federal government. They were enumerated for a reason. The Feds have been chipping away at the freedoms the individual states, local governments and people had to experiment and try things differently on smaller scales and brought them into an all encompassing federal quagmire of horror.

It is a problem. If you have ever started a real business you know this. Even when you spend weeks looking into the regulations you are required to follow in many businesses you can never really be sure if you are complying with them all. As just a person you have no idea how many Federal, State and Local laws you break on a Monthly basis.

We now have a government that has amassed so many Laws and regulations and is so deeply involved in all aspects of our lives that if they decide to out you away, it does not matter how decent of a person you think you are they can and will find something to legally put you away with.

When the laws a person must live under can not be fully understood by that person he or she can never be truly free.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about 5 months ago | (#47282961)

National Defense, Infrastructure, Foreign Relations, Border Security, Protecting Individual Rights, Protecting trade between the states, Ensuring a uniform set of laws that normal people can understand and follow.

What happens when the rights of an individual conflicts with the rights of a huge corporation?

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 5 months ago | (#47283243)

Ok. Name a Right that an Individual has that conflicts with a Right of a Corporation.

If you are talking about environmental damage and or pollution. This is one of the areas where government does need to step in under "Protecting Individual Rights". It historically has. EPA ring a bell? The issue is that as a people we need to distrust this as much as possible. That way the individual rights can be protected but the EPA is constrained by the mistrust of the people into not abusing and expanding its powers.

Government is not bad. Too many laws and too much regulation is. Remember Wal-Mart may be able kick you out of their stores and they could conceivably decide at some point that Mexicans and People in Wheelchairs are no longer welcome there. This would be a bad thing of course for some. For others though, they might see an opportunity to make a lot of money serving an under served (Shunned) market. Personally I would love to see the ADA repealed. I would search high and low for communities where disabled people had no access to some service. I would make some money serving them.

When government though decides to treat me badly with their extra power what do I do? They do not come offering to sell me junk food that is "irresistible" they come with force. Chevron can not take my life. Government can. Target can not fine me for choosing to shop elsewhere. Government can. No private company can force me to buy their product without using government against me.

Government should be small, on the side of the people and transparent when at all possible. Also, Importantly we should never have a regulation or law that we are compelled to live under that can not be easily explained and understood.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about 5 months ago | (#47283585)

Government should be small, on the side of the people and transparent when at all possible. Also, Importantly we should never have a regulation or law that we are compelled to live under that can not be easily explained and understood.

Ok, I agree with the "on the side of the people" and the "transparent" part. The "small" part might be nice. However, I would like you to consider a thought experiment, basically a reducto ad absurdum. Imagine a world in which there is only one corporation that controls all trade. I mean all. All goods must be bought through this corporation, and all people work through this corporation. What would the role of government be then? What if a person disagreed with that corporation? What if that corporation chose to banish that person from working? This would mean that this person would basically be out on the street with no chance of work. Would the government's role be to protect that person? Should the government act to break up that huge corporation to preserve trade? Would it? Or would the State have become the corporation?

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 5 months ago | (#47283683)

What you are looking at IS the State, unless you stay constantly vigilant.

We already have common sense monopoly laws. They are getting a bit convoluted due to corporations influencing the legislation and regulations. But this is the fault of the voters. If we keep voting in the same people and bitching about the results ...

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about 5 months ago | (#47284379)

What you are looking at IS the State, unless you stay constantly vigilant.

Yes, exactly. And obviously we are not there yet. However, from what I can see, we are going towards this. It may not be once corporation, but even if it is ten, twenty or thirty corporations that control most economic activity, this is concerning to me. Of particular concern is the American food supply, both its creation and its distribution. Small farms are disappearing, with huge corporate owned farms becoming dominant. I believe this is a dangerous concentration of power.

However, the elephant in the room is wealth distribution. The wealthiest Americans own a concerningly large portion of the national wealth right now. And it is a simple mathematical fact in the American system that wealth leads to political power. Thus, the American political system is now acting primarly in the interests of the most wealthy. The right wing, which is the most owned by the wealthy, push "low tax" and "small government" policies, whose sole aim is to increase the wealth of the most wealthy relative to the rest of the nation. And the "tea party" movement will not fix this. It will in fact make it far far worse.

It is a historical fact that the ONLY way America has found of leveling out wealth distribution is via a progressive income tax system. Following WWII, the top tax bracket (over $500000) [data360.org] was more than 90%. These tax rates effectively created the American middle class. In 1980, the upper tax bracket rate collapsed, and this began the decline of the American middle class. Seemingly paradoxically, the decline of the middle class has led to economic decline as well.

I would advise that if you value the future economic well being of your children and grand-children, that you perform a political and economic reality check.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 5 months ago | (#47282465)

You completely missed my point. If you try to eliminate the democratic State, the corporation will become the State.

Only if you read too many Cyberpunk novels.

How do you have a corporation without a State, when the very idea of a corporation is the product of the State? How long would Microsoft survive if they had to pay to enforce copyright themselves, without a State to do it for them?

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 5 months ago | (#47282253)

By that logic, we should abolish the police and rely on the murderers and rapists and robbers to police themselves, since the police are worse than them. Also, do you really want to return to pre-EPA days, or are you young enough not to remember them? The river in Cleveland catching fire? Love Canal?

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 5 months ago | (#47282493)

I have lived in California most of my life. When I was in grade school we had "Smog Days". We were not allowed to play outside during recess. The EPA and the AQMD fixed it. My kids have never had a smog day. Did they fix the problem and then cut the budget down and keep the standards.

No. They did not.

They continually decide that more regulations need to be made. That less pollution is acceptable. They pull more power into their sphere. They go to far. Name 3 regulations put in place to solve a problem that were later removed or lessened when the goals were reached. Name 2 agencies that set goals and then met them and did not then set their goals even higher. Name 2 federal programs that were shut down when it was found that they had no positive effect.

The problem is not that it starts bad. The problem is the State has never found something that it will not regulate.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (2)

thrich81 (1357561) | about 5 months ago | (#47275845)

I read them both and it is gratifying to see that every comment so far (there aren't many) attached to the two stories you listed (WashPo and Bloomberg) rips ULA and Sen Shelby new ones for their attacks on Space X. I guess ULA's astroturfing isn't quite up to speed yet.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (-1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 5 months ago | (#47276441)

No "propaganda" is necessary. All that needs to be mentioned is that the space program is nothing but a tax-funded love letter to society's high IQ groups, while nothing is left for African-Americans and Latinos. That is the most effective attack possible, which has the benefit of being 100% true. The ISS is typically 100% monoracial, when so many studies exist definitively proving the benefits of multiculturalism.

Re:New ULA anti-SpaceX campaign is apparent (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 5 months ago | (#47278293)

society's high IQ groups, while nothing is left for African-Americans and Latinos

- that's a pretty racist remark. Are you implying that only whites have high IQs? You're also incorrect - there have been a number of astronauts of all races, and almost every space (and engineering) company actively works to increase the number of minorities and women in engineering disciplines. And it's working, slowly. I was just at a conference for internet hosting companies, and the percentage of 'minorities' and women was much higher than I would have seen even 10 years ago.

But it's still difficult to find even one US woman in graduate computer science programs, and the vast majority of 'minorities' in those programs that I've seen have been from outside the US. Anecdote: I was back in school a few years ago. At that state school, the graduate CS program had 0 American women, and 0 American blacks - and well over 1/2 the program was foreigners. But about 20% of those foreigners were women. The foreigners knew that success here meant the difference between a comfortable middle class life, and not. Interestingly, the school's new building was named after a foreign student who went through the EE program, succeeded, and gave the school $12 million for the building.

Societally the hardest part of increasing the number of technically educated youngsters is changing the culture within the home and early school to encourage and support analytical thinking, rational discourse, and motivation to achieve on the merits. It's hard to be a 'geek' kid when everyone in your class laughs at you, calls you names, and shoves you into lockers.

The "ultimate revenge of the nerds" is that they grow up to be engineers, and build the world everyone else has to live in! :D

Prelude to Mars? (1)

Invisible Now (525401) | about 5 months ago | (#47275683)

With a thick atmosphere and oceans and wide open plains everywhere there is little engineering justification to landing a rocket when you can simply pop a parachute.

But Mars has a thin atmosphere and you need a working rocket to come home. Are the fins a lattice to simulate mar's thin air?

Elon is nothing if not forward looking...

Re:Prelude to Mars? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 5 months ago | (#47276933)

It'd be impossible to land something the shape of a Falcon 9 first stage precisely enough (and on its landing legs) when using a parachute, and it's easier to simply refuel a rocket than to refuel a rocket and replace the parachutes (which tends to be a somewhat destructive process, if you've seen pictures of the Dragon after parachute deployment, where the parachute cords are stored beneath ablative insulation that they rip out).

The fins have greater surface area, and work better at high speeds than regular fins. It has nothing to do with Mars, particularly because the Falcon 9 first stage will never leave Earth's atmosphere.

Parachutes and fins.... (1)

Invisible Now (525401) | about 5 months ago | (#47284623)

Good to know about the fins... It was just a guess.

I don't see why parachutes are inevitably destructive for Earth re entry however... Dragon design aside ...

Re:Prelude to Mars? (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 5 months ago | (#47277563)

little engineering justification, sure. But there's a whole lot of financial justification.

It's all about operational costs. To retrieve something like an Apollo capsule that pops a parachute and lands in the ocean, they have to deploy fleet of ships and bunch of personnel, which all costs money even though it has nothing to do with rocket engineering. Also landing in salt water will mean extensive refurbishing and/or making the rocket marine-resistant, which leads to even more downtime and money.

Like in the airliner business, time is money. The faster you can relaunch, more money you save. Elon's goal is to have both stages land in the same place they launched from, clean em up a bit, refuel, and relaunch in a matter of days (or hours). Like an airliner.

Missed my daily dose of Elon Musk (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 5 months ago | (#47275695)

Thanks Slashdot, for continuing to fawn over this guy, it had been hours since you last told me how awesome he was.

spacex 2014 is... (1)

steak (145650) | about 5 months ago | (#47276241)

like apple circa 1978.

Gridfins! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47277233)

VERY Interesting that SpaceX added gridfins to the upper-end of the stage.

Gridfins work like regular fins (adding drag and providing steering/roll control) but at optimally at supersonic speeds (where shock waves are fomed within the voids of the grids and effectively make them like solid paddles) which is why they're most-often seen on missiles, bombs that are carried on supersonic aircraft, and the Soyuz launch escape system (they are the big rectangles folded on the side of the soyuz at launch that would fold-out into the airstream during an abort)

It appear that SpaceX decided the added weight and complexity was worth it for added roll control and guidance during the supersonic descent (where the "top" of the stage is the "back-end" where the deployed fins will be) - must have decided the current scheme of using thrusters needed lots more fuel to cover contingencies, making it heavy and no longer superior to fins.

Re:Gridfins! (1)

queazocotal (915608) | about 5 months ago | (#47280333)

Not only supersonic - it seems likely that they'll perform quite adequately even down to the ~80m/s that it hits while freefalling down to a landing.

I'm not sure about added weight.
Certainly, it's added weight, if the stage is not intended to be recovered.
However, the extra control authority right down to the point you need to light the main engine to start the 3-4G burn means that you may gain back the
mass in less fuel needed both for the main engines and attitude control systems.

Like ringing the dinner bell... (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 5 months ago | (#47277959)

Wow, this story is like ringing the dinner bell for all of those SpaceX cum-guzzlers on slashdot to come out and fellate their hero Elon Musk.

Beef prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47280199)

If there was a crash landing beef prices would have sky-"rocketed" ;)

awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47282587)

awesome.. enough said.

Didya hear the one about two cows sent into orbit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47283027)

Didya hear the one about two cows sent into orbit?

They were the herd shot 'round the world!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?