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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

samzenpus posted about a month ago | from the final-countdown dept.

Space 112

An anonymous reader writes After two months of delays, SpaceX was successful today with its launch of six Orbcomm telecommunications satellites. All six satellites have been successfully deployed in orbit. The 375-pound satellites will offer two-way data links to help customers track, monitor and control transportation and logistics assets, heavy equipment, oil and gas infrastructure, ships and buoys, and government-owned equipment. From the article: "SpaceX plans to use Monday's launch to test a landing system it is developing to fly its rockets back to the launch site for refurbishment and reuse. During Falcon 9's last flight in April, the first stage successfully restarted some of its engines as it careened toward the ocean, slowing its descent. The rocket also was able to deploy stabilizing landing legs before toppling over in the water. The booster, however, was destroyed by rough seas before it could be retrieved by recovery ships. Monday's launch was the 10th flight of Falcon 9 rocket, all of which have been successful."

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"An anonymous reader" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450571)

Oh, fuck off, SpaceX. Reaganomics squeezes NASA to the point that it can barely produce anything of value, and now we have a businessman leeching off the equipment and knowledge created by the public sector, feeding into the free market fantasy with a cheap first hit.

Boeing was once a cheap innovator too, you know. Actually, no, Boeing was once the producer which government wanted to buy into. SpaceX is nothing more than an artifice of ideology - it produced nothing on its own to have made it worthy of initial sponsorship.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a month ago | (#47450635)

Again, SpaceX spent about the same amount of money to build a new rocket engine and two new rockets and launch them into orbit as NASA did to put a fake upper stage onto a Shuttle SRB and launch it into the ocean. They've also probably spent less developing their stage recovery system than NASA has spent over the years on studies of how they might think about recovering rocket stages.

But, yeah, it's all Reagan's fault. Or something.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (2)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a month ago | (#47450651)

"Man-rated" is not on SpaceX's advertising brochure. Yet.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a month ago | (#47450677)

"Man-rated" is not on SpaceX's advertising brochure. Yet.

It wasn't on the Shuttle's, either. But killing the crew less than one time in sixty can't really be that hard, can it?

Re:"An anonymous reader" (4, Interesting)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a month ago | (#47450701)

It wasn't on the Shuttle's, either. But killing the crew less than one time in sixty can't really be that hard, can it?

Actually it's quite hard. That's why only 3 countries have managed to do it.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a month ago | (#47450877)

Actually it's quite hard. That's why only 3 countries have managed to do it.

I believe that would be 'all three countries thave have actually launched astronauts'? Or have I forgotten any?

Re:"An anonymous reader" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450937)

You forgot the Soviet Union [wikipedia.org] , which technically isn't the same country as Russia.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (3, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | about a month ago | (#47451251)

Russia as a country has assumed all treaty obligations and considers itself to be the legitimate heir to the Soviet Union. Very few people really disagree.

Besides, the Soviet Union really was a greater Russian empire anyway. The language, the culture, and in many cases the people at the top were all from Russia. That is also one of the causes of the issues in the Ukraine as the "Russification program" to deliberately wipe out whole cultures was occurring there to transplant culturally Russian peoples into the conquered areas (like Ukraine) and then do a similar transplantation of the "locals" to other areas still so they would lose their cultural identity. They expected this would take several generations, and was incomplete, but in areas where it was done there are now ethnically Russian people (like the Crimea) who want to "return home".

So yes, "Soviet Union" == "Russia" for all practical purposes. Especially in the realm of spaceflight.

Hey Mr Bandera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455495)

Hate to destroy you nice narrative, but Mr Stalin was Georgian. Other leaders were also from other republics. The Muslims/Turkos retained their culture and were quick to expel all non-Turkos from their soil after 1991. Chrustchew was Ukrainian. They transferred computer industry from Minsk to the Turkos because they had some lofty aims of "developing" these.

But hey, if you run a war financed by New York, you need to cut corners with the truth.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about a month ago | (#47453395)

For this discussion it is the same country, because the space hardware developed in Soviet times was not magically made to disappear when capitalist Russia took over.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a month ago | (#47453431)

"Capitalist Russia" Now that is funny.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455065)

Its more or less faschist now. And that's ironic but not really funny anymore. If you read the definition of faschism (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fascism )then it pretty accurate about modern russia.

Indeed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455501)

Whoever does not subscribe to the New York Cleptocracy is "fascist". Why don't you idots drop yourself off a bridge and be done with your miserable life ?

A Hint, Boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455513)

Just check the ethnicity of some of the Russkie tycoons. You will figure that Russia allows plenty of Turkos and Jews to be very wealthy business-people on Russian soil. They just don't allow them to usurp power and transfer all wealth to London and New York while the average Russian family starves. Putin does what he was trained for at great expense - serve the Russian state and populace. And he does it not the heavy-handed way all the time. Because he apparently is not a dumb brute. Rather, he plays on the piano that presents itself to him. Then and now he plays the axe, when barbarians financed by America break down the gates. Boo-Hoo.

Musk tweeted it himself "kaboom" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47451431)

Shouldn't this story be "SpaceX rocket EXPLODES in the Atlantic"?

That is the TRUTHFUL version (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47454243)

SpaceX has a long history of LYING about success. To this day, they haven't had a single flight without major problems and haven't even managed to achieve one single mission where it completed 50% of the tasks.

But somehow, every mission is a success and every single failure is "expected" or "planned".

Guess why you never see video of the unmanned Falcon? Because not one single (water) landing has being completed without serious damage to the vehicle and two of them were total lost of vehicle and return cargo.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450809)

It wasn't on the Shuttle's

Yes it was.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

khallow (566160) | about a month ago | (#47450845)

Yes it was.

No, it wasn't. Man-rated would mean, for example, having abort options at every stage of launch from the ground to orbit. Shuttle couldn't do that.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450859)

No, it wasn't. Man-rated would mean, for example, having abort options at every stage of launch from the ground to orbit. Shuttle couldn't do that.

No that's not what that means at all.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a month ago | (#47450957)

Here, you go (from here [nasa.gov] :

3.6.1.2 The space system shall provide abort capability from the launch pad until Earth-orbit insertion to protect for the following ascent failure scenarios (minimum list):

a. Complete loss of ascent thrust/propulsion (Requirement 58613).

b. Loss of attitude or flight path control (Requirement 58614).

Rationale: Flying a spacecraft through the Earth's atmosphere to orbit entails inherent risk. Three crewed launch vehicles have suffered catastrophic failures during ascent or on the launch pad (one Space Shuttle and two Soyuz spacecraft). Both Soyuz crews survived the catastrophic failure due to a robust ascent abort system. Analysis, studies, and past experience all provide data supporting ascent abort as the best option for the crew to survive a catastrophic failure of the launch vehicle. Although not specifically stated, the ascent abort capability incorporates some type of vehicle monitoring to detect failures and, in some cases, impending failures.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450967)

From that page

Effective Date: May 06, 2008

Has no bearing on the man rating of shuttle.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47451121)

Clear back then, NASA waved a number of their owns regs and rules to get past. And that does not include the new regs that they have. Per NASA's rules/regs of back then, it was not man-rated.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (2)

khallow (566160) | about a month ago | (#47451143)

Has no bearing on the man rating of shuttle.

It demonstrates that the Shuttle can't meet the only man-rating standard NASA has issued.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47451357)

Two space shuttles suffered catastrophic failures during ascent, it just took longer for the damage to Columbia to become apparent. It was doomed by the time it reached orbit.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47451677)

No it made a completely successful ascent.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

khallow (566160) | about a month ago | (#47451679)

Two space shuttles suffered catastrophic failures during ascent, it just took longer for the damage to Columbia to become apparent. It was doomed by the time it reached orbit.

By that reasoning, they both suffered from catastrophic design choices. It just took some time for the consequences to show. Thus, neither were vehicle operation failures at all.

I think it's reasonable instead to classify the failure by where it manifests even if the trigger events happen earlier. Among other things, it fits with any remedies that one could attempt. For example, launch aborts might have saved the Challenger crew, but wouldn't have done a thing for the Columbia crew.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about a month ago | (#47453057)

"Soyuz crews survived the catastrophic failure due to a robust ascent abort system"

Soyuz has had two situations where the LAS was necessary, but I can't recall a single US launch that ever encountered a situation where one would have been of use. Its probably not a bad thing to have as it is a situation that will eventually occur, but the there are other failure modes that deserve more attention (heat shield failure, booster damage recognition, etc).

Re:"An anonymous reader" (3, Informative)

khallow (566160) | about a month ago | (#47453227)

The Challenger accident. It would have been difficult to exploit an LAS with the normal Shuttle configuration. But if instead the Shuttle had been on top of the central oxygen tank rather than piggybacking, then an LAS would have been quite feasible - especially if NASA was using liquid fuel booster engines instead of solid fuel ones.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about a month ago | (#47453605)

It doesn't help to to have a LAS system when you have no way of knowing to use it before your spacecraft explodes. If Challenger had known what was about to occur they may have been able to jettison the SRB's, throttle back on the SSME's and eventually disconnect the ET in a controllable fashion. Even a straight disconnect from the ET/SRB stack may have been survivable. Admittedly a traditional (capsule on top) configuration would have been the best for escaping an exploding stack but it wouldn't mean much of anything unless you had some indication that the explosion was coming (booster damage recognition)

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a month ago | (#47455897)

NASA has data that shows the Challenger crew was still alive when they hit the water. They were just all unconscious because of a lack of oxygen. Oh, and the rockets didn't explode in the traditional sense - the fuel tank ruptured causing LOX and LH to spill out forming a giant cloud, which was then ignited by the still firing SRBs. If you watch the film, you can see the SRBs continue to boost out of the fireball.

A proper launch abort system, with a proper rocket stack (payload on top, liquid fueled boosters that can be shut off), would have likely saved the crew.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about a month ago | (#47455419)

If the Shuttle had been using liquid boosters then the Challenger accident would not have happened in the first place...

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455535)

Buran had a 100% success rate. 1 out of 1. As a "drone", by the way.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about a month ago | (#47453781)

"In Soviet Russia... you survive catastrophic failure due to a robust ascent abort system."

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a month ago | (#47451173)

AC is right.

"Man rated" means "we refuse to calculate the odds that it will fail because by definition it will never fail".

And then it fails.

You are beyond ignorant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47454257)

The space shuttle had abort options .... including an emergency landing in Spain and Africa.

Please stop spreading ignorance and lies.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (3, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | about a month ago | (#47450867)

It wasn't on the Shuttle's

Yes it was.

The Shuttle was never 'man rated'. It kiled its crew one time in sixty and had long periods during launch when an abort was not survivable. There's no way in Heck that NASA would put astronauts a SpaceX launcher that was as dangerous as the Shuttle.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450921)

Man rated means

In November 2011, Ed Mango, the agency head of the NASA Commercial Crew Program (CCP), gave an extended interview on the new NASA requirements for human rating of spacecraft that will fly to the International Space Station (ISS).[2]

The NASA CCP human-rating standards require that the probability of loss on ascent is no more than 1 in 500, and that the probability of loss on descent is no more than 1 in 500. The overall mission loss risk, which includes vehicle risk from micrometeorites and orbital debris while in orbit for up to 210 days is no more than 1 in 270.[2] Maximum sustained G-loads are limited to three Earth-standard g's.[2]

It is noteworthy that the development of the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station pre-dates the NASA Human-Rating requirements. After the Challenger and Columbia accidents, the criteria used by NASA for human-rating spacecraft have been made more stringent.[3]

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) published[when?] a paper submitted to AIAA detailing the modifications to its Delta IV and Atlas V launch vehicles that would be needed to conform to NASA Standard 8705.2B.[3] ULA has since been awarded $6.7 million under NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program for development of an Emergency Detection System, one of the final pieces that would be needed to make these launchers suitable for manned spaceflight.

There was only 1 loss on ascent and 1 loss on decent with too few flights to show if those single losses had a probability of greater than 1 in 500.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a month ago | (#47451123)

There was only 1 loss on ascent and 1 loss on decent with too few flights to show if those single losses had a probability of greater than 1 in 500.

Now you're really getting into wacko-world.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (2)

voidptr (609) | about a month ago | (#47451607)

There was only 1 loss on ascent and 1 loss on decent with too few flights to show if those single losses had a probability of greater than 1 in 500.

Columbia was doomed by the time it finished ascent, it just took until descent for the scope of the damage to become apparent. Arguably both losses in the shuttle program can be considered "on ascent".

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455869)

> There's no way in Heck that NASA would put astronauts a SpaceX launcher that was built by as few states with pork barrel projects run there and as few NASA bureaucrats involved as SpaceX.

Fixed That For You. Do keep track of the *real* reasons NASA resists SpaceX. It's not an engineering decision, it's a bureaucratic one.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month ago | (#47450903)

"Man-rated" is not on SpaceX's advertising brochure. Yet.

The brochure is printed with toxic ink? ;)

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47451833)

"Man-rated" is an cop-out excuse for "staggeringly expensive"

Re:"An anonymous reader" (4, Insightful)

WrongMonkey (1027334) | about a month ago | (#47451111)

SpaceX is not competing with NASA, because NASA doesn't make rockets. NASA has input on the design requirements, but all the real work is done by private contractors, like Lockheed and Boeing. SpaceX is just a new contractor and they operate just like the others. They have some interesting new engineering approaches that may reduce costs, but it's not any fundamentally new business model.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (4, Informative)

bledri (1283728) | about a month ago | (#47451563)

SpaceX is not competing with NASA, because NASA doesn't make rockets. NASA has input on the design requirements, but all the real work is done by private contractors, like Lockheed and Boeing. SpaceX is just a new contractor and they operate just like the others. They have some interesting new engineering approaches that may reduce costs, but it's not any fundamentally new business model.

Actually, it is a fundamentally different business model. You are correct that it was always private companies that did the final design and construction of the rockets, but historically Congress forced many decisions on NASA based largely on spreading the money around. For instance, NASA wanted the Space Shuttle to use liquid fueled boosters, but Congress insisted on the SRBs specifically so Thiokol Corporation of Utah would get the business. The same thing is happening with the STS under development now. Congress is forcing NASA to use Shuttle components in the first generation STS specifically to funnel money into certain congressional districts. Under the non-commercial contracts, Congress and NASA actually make design decisions that may not be optimum from an engineering perspective.

The rules under which SpaceX performs NASA missions, are much different. NASA does not get involved in the design of the rocket/spacecraft beyond listing requirements that must be met. Some seed money is provided, for companies that win bids to compete. But ultimately the winners are paid a fixed price - which is also a big difference. Historically, these contracts were cost plus. This new approach does appear to be saving money and it is also leading to competing designs which is interesting as well. For instance with commercial crew, Boeing is building a fairly conventual capsule that lands under parachute, Sierra Nevada is building a lifting body that will reenter and glide like the shuttle, and SpaceX is building a capsule that will land propulsively (parahutes will only be deployed if there is a malfunction in the engines.)

In defense of NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47452239)

1) The Merlin engine evolved from the low cost fastrack engine developed by NASA.
2) The competing 'American' rockets, the EELVs, are military rockets, that the military spends lots of money on to get very high reliability. Congress says that NASA has to use American rockets, which effectively meant, the EELVs, Delta II, or Space Shuttle, until recently. SpaceX can skimp on quality control, because the military isn't their customer.
3) Thrust oscillation is considered the biggest barrier to Ares I like rockets, and is still not fully understood.

Good luck to SpaceX reusing their flimsy rockets. Soviet rockets were overbuilt, and used lower precision parts. They just made the rocket bigger. I wonder how flimsy cheap rockets will work out for SpaceX.

Re:In defense of NASA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455563)

I guess the key aspect of the Soviet/Russian system was that it essentially was a wartime economy. They could use resources on rockets which America had to divert to refrigerators and cars. Military officers ran the development programs. In other words "tyranny gets shit done".

Spaceflight gave the Soviet military and intelligence apparatus supposedly valuable PROPAGANDA successes. That carried them a long way until their leadership themselves realized their economy was sucking big-time.

So if you can keep your population in austere/spartan conditions, your spaceflight can be excellent. Similar arguments can be made with the A380. It does bring pride at the expense of austerity.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47450647)

The problem with the point you're inarticulately trying to make(namely objecting to the privatization of spaceflight supported by government subsidy) misses a crucial fact about NASA. The things NASA actually launched weren't manufactured and designed by government employees. Sure the projects were managed by NASA's various facilities.

But the actually shuttles, rockets, and satellites were bought by the government from private contractors.

You're framing a slight shift in project centering to a sudden and complete change in how things are done.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450733)

you're inarticulately trying to make(namely objecting to the privatization of spaceflight supported by government subsidy)

Nope - I have no problem with private sector involvement. I was, indeed, complimenting Boeing's early achievements.

You're framing a slight shift in project centering to a sudden and complete change in how things are done.

On the contrary, it's a fundamental difference. NASA succeeded in the '60s and the '70s, creating a short-lived era of fast-developing, world-beating aerospace advances, precisely because it project-managed effectively, selecting the best organisation (public or private) for each particular job.

The hard-on for a market-based approach to management of aerospace research rather than a scientific one is what has given us the modern NASA. It started with the Challenger disaster, which is precisely what happens when your public relations team has primacy over your technical team.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450815)

The hard-on for a market-based approach to management of aerospace research rather than a scientific one is what has given us the modern NASA.

That's funny, I read from TFS that a private-sector launch (SpaceX) has successfully inserted satellites that are intended to facilitate private-sector business. I must have missed the part where this private-sector launch was taking over fundamental aerospace exploration and research operations for NASA.

Or did you think that SpaceX is going to be directing programs like Hubble, Cassini-Huygens, etc.? There's no profit involved in those, and unless Elon Musk turns out to be amazingly altruistic in his old age, I doubt that SpaceX will *ever* direct those programs.

It seems to me that NASA should simply contract those basic research payloads on top of SpaceX rockets, if SpaceX can get them into orbit for fewer dollars than NASA's own internal teams can. Why waste resources?

Re:"An anonymous reader" (2)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a month ago | (#47450861)

It seems to me that NASA should simply contract those basic research payloads on top of SpaceX rockets, if SpaceX can get them into orbit for fewer dollars than NASA's own internal teams can. Why waste resources?

That's the way NASA currently does business: launch services are purchased.

SpaceX developed Falcon-9 on a NASA contract, specifically in order to be a vehicle that can be purchased for launch services. ("Commercial Orbital Transportation Services" was the name of the contract.)

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450871)

If this was just another launch of some private sector satellites, it wouldn't be announced on the front page of /. - that happens all the time! hell, I've even been involved in the launch of a ham radio satellite.

What's relevant here is the launch technology, its provenance, and its ownership.

Are you normally this intellectually dishonest?

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

Delwin (599872) | about a month ago | (#47452021)

No, what's relevant here is that it launched from Kennedy. It's the first SpaceX launch from that location. That and they're going to try to recover the booster. That's new too, but you covered that under 'launch technology'.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47453093)

SpaceX has been launching from Kennedy for several years.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (2)

Teancum (67324) | about a month ago | (#47455343)

No, what's relevant here is that it launched from Kennedy. It's the first SpaceX launch from that location.

That and they're going to try to recover the booster. That's new too, but you covered that under 'launch technology'.

This is not the first time that SpaceX has launched from Cape Canaveral (technically no longer Kennedy.... that is only the VAB and the NASA facility itself although Florida at one time did call it Cape Kennedy... and changed that back in the 1990's).

The facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (who actually "owns" the property... although SpaceX does have a long term lease) is known as SLC-40... the pad just next to LC-39 A&B where the Space Shuttle and the Apollo rockets all were launched from. This launch was number nine from that same location BTW. The Florida government is also trying to encourage other private launch companies to launch from that general location, and United Launch Alliance also has flights from there as well, including a pure commercial launch fairly recently (even though most of their stuff is national security payloads for the NRO, NSA, and other alphabet soup agencies).

Even the booster recovery is not really that remarkable as it is the third time they've tried, and technically they've tried on nearly every launch since the first Falcon 1 went boom about a thousand feet above the launch pad due to insane levels of galvanometric corrosion that wasn't anticipated. The earlier attempts tried to use parachutes, which ended up not working very well and have since been abandoned by SpaceX.

On the whole, at least for SpaceX, this was a rather ordinary launch. The 1st stage recovery attempt (or at least testing the recovery systems... which is a more accurate description of what happened with this OrbComm flight) is certainly impressive and can eventually lead to cheaper prices for future customers.

The really remarkable thing though, and what makes this get hardcore geeks excited for this flight, is that customers can go to SpaceX and drop a bag of cash to get a launch slot to go into space. It really is that simple. SpaceX will deal with all of the government red tape and flight clearances, so all you need to do is drop off the payload. Some other minor things like telemetry and some bus configurations are available for the engineers building satellites for Falcon 9, but that is technical and not legal issues. EELV payloads still need government permission if you want to fly one of them. Of course Arianespace has been doing this for customers as well for a couple of decades, so even that isn't all that remarkable.

I suppose it helps that you can obtain SpaceX media under the terms of the Creative Commons licenses (I think it is CC-by-SA) and are quite open about what it is that they are doing.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (2)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about a month ago | (#47451465)

unless Elon Musk turns out to be amazingly altruistic in his old age

He just donated another $1M to the Tesla Museum [seattletimes.com] .

Okay, so $1M isn't exactly going to bankroll the next Hubble, but he's only 43 years old, not exactly "old age" yet. I'd say he's on track to be amazingly altruistic, sure.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a month ago | (#47453517)

He donated some money to a "museum" dedicated to advertising one of his products, no samples of which are so unique or old that they deserve to be in a museum. And that suggests an altruistic tendency? I'm not saying he doesn't have any but that is NOT an example of one.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (2)

Teancum (67324) | about a month ago | (#47454117)

He donated some money to a "museum" dedicated to advertising one of his products, no samples of which are so unique or old that they deserve to be in a museum. And that suggests an altruistic tendency? I'm not saying he doesn't have any but that is NOT an example of one.

You ought to read links before spouting off drivel that you don't understand. The museum is one dedicated to Nikola Tesla, the namesake of Tesla Motors to be sure, but somebody of very significant historical interest. The building that the museum is housed in happens to be formally recognized already as a National Historic Landmark. There will not be anything in this museum (except very tangentially) about Tesla Motors or any other Elon Musk company except perhaps a small note listing donors to the museum on a plaque.

I don't suppose you've heard of Nikola Tesla? Thank Thomas Edison for that (if you believe the stories).

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about a month ago | (#47455979)

/me shudders.

The sad part is, I live in Edison, NJ. Formerly Menlo Park, Raritan, NJ, renamed in 1954 in honor of Thomas Alva Edison, who did much of his work here in the late 19th century (invented the phonograph, "invented" the light bulb). It's especially sad that a fuckwit like Edison gets a whole town of over 100,000 named after him but Tesla is virtually forgotten, being eclipsed by an electric car bearing his name.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47451103)

The ULA must be really scared about the demise of their cost-plus business model. Their PR drones have been in all of the discussion boards crying about SpaceX. The conspiracy theories they come up with are especially entertaining, ranging from bribery to faked launches.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47451915)

Oh, fuck off, SpaceX

Bitter much?

You may expect to spend the remainder of your angry, bitter life watching SpaceX et. al. do what St. Government can't at 10 times the price, each success another reminder that your world view doesn't compute.

Hate on, bro.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about a month ago | (#47453387)

It was the Luddite lobby, not "Reaganomics" which has prevented NASA from doing anything significant in manned programs. The ONLY way we will ever return to the Moon or explore Mars will be in the private sector. Companies like SpaceX are using orbital contract work to develop the flight experience they will need for the big missions.

Re:"An anonymous reader" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455599)

"being on the moon" was the afterplay of WW2, because WW2 transformed into "cold war". And America needed to show off that their Nazi engineers were better than the Russian Nazi engineers. Otherwise the moon is an inhospitable place to Homo Sapiens. So is Mars.

Anything hospitable needs nuclear and/or electric/ion propulsion to reach. And then you reach a planet which contains an ecosphere which immediately attacks our lungs and/or skin.

Why don't we settle for GLOBAL distribution of rubber condoms so that we have something to discover in the rain forests (instead of everthing razed for more of our species) of our OWN FUCKING PLANET. Why not ?

Re:"An anonymous reader" (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a month ago | (#47455963)

Yeah. Because absolutely no technology came out of the Apollo program that benefited society in any way.

Nobody went hungry because we went to the moon. Nobody died because we went to the moon. No less people were educated because we went to the moon.

Guaranteed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450573)

Guaranteed - there are no black engineers involvedin this.

Re:Guaranteed (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a month ago | (#47451219)

Guaranteed - there are no black engineers involvedin this.

Oh, how sad, you're not just a racist fuck. You're also wrong.

Re:Guaranteed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47452803)

Let's face it, AC is correct.
Drop the politically correct race card BS.
If you had some balls (apparently not...Eunuchswer?), fact of the matter is there are lots of blacks in music and sports (is that also racist?), but very few to the extent of being effectively nonexistent in aerospace and STEM in general.

Re:Guaranteed (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a month ago | (#47454155)

Right... Charles Bolden must be white.... as is his boss too.

That is just scratching the surface. BTW, Bolden didn't get his job because of his skin color either, and IMHO he is also one of the best qualified NASA administrators that America has ever had. The general stars that he earned (in the USMC no less) weren't honorary either.... and his degree is in engineering.

Re:Guaranteed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47456117)

Thank you. Case in point.
Blacks in the "space" program are invariably not in the "hard" stuff.

Bolden is a fucking "administrator".
I got no problem with jet jockeys/astronauts with "engineering" degrees from the US Naval Academy, in an "administrative" capacity. Whether they are black, white, pink..

But few if any blacks are knee deep in rigorous science/technology/engineering/math.

So was the landing successful? (5, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | about a month ago | (#47450611)

The article is pretty vague about potentially the most important part of this launch - the reusable landing system. The article says they were going to "test" this. First, they're unclear as to whether that's a full return-to-launch test, or another "soft landing in water" test. Then they don't say whether that test was successful - they switch weirdly from past tense when describing the launch to future tense when describing the test, despite them being pretty much the same event.

Re:So was the landing successful? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about a month ago | (#47450633)

It sounded to me like what they were testing was successful (did the legs deploy, did the engines restart, did the vehicle slow down, etc), but that it wasn't a full test with the goal of being able to reuse the rocket as it was a water landing. And due to rough seas, the rocket was destroyed once it was in the water.

Re:So was the landing successful? (3, Funny)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about a month ago | (#47450673)

maybe they will wait until seeing the results of the test before announcing what the purpose was!

Re:So was the landing successful? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47450683)

And any decent engineer would expect the first production test of so complicated a system to fail in some way, and they're doubtlessly going to be incorporating feedback about how well various elements worked into a future launch.

Re:So was the landing successful? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a month ago | (#47451623)

No, if you'll read TFS more carefully, that's the description of the test in April. I doubt they have much info on the latest test to make public yet.

Re:So was the landing successful? (5, Informative)

koreanbabykilla (305807) | about a month ago | (#47450637)

https://twitter.com/SpaceX [twitter.com]

Rocket booster reentry, landing burn & leg deploy were good, but lost hull integrity right after splashdown (aka kaboom).

Detailed review of rocket telemetry needed to tell if due to initial splashdown or subsequent tip over and body slam

Re:So was the landing successful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47451863)

sounds like every improptu splashdown of a lander I have ever attempted in KSP. its why i always attempt to do a landing and not a splashdown in later parts of the program.

Re:So was the landing successful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455661)

You can launch in Vandenberg and then have a ton of debris killing somebody in Denver. They will sue for 9,78 billion dollars and your launch company will be done by the lawyers. If your plan was to land the launcher in Florida.

There is a reason they launch into the Altantic from Florida - earth rotation plus PUSSIE LAWSUITS. In Russia you get jail if you try to pussy with the state.

Re:So was the landing successful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455627)

my mistress also kaboomed off the backboard after a long night in the sac.

captcha:grandpa

Re:So was the landing successful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450655)

Latest I've seen reported is that it did land in the ocean but was destroyed soon after. They are not sure at this point if landing broke it apart or if it tipped over and impact broke it. I also have not seen a video of the landing yet.

Re:So was the landing successful? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450669)

For the curious; The landing was quasi successful this flight in that, although the booster touched down under power with legs extended, it was then destroyed in something a tweet from musk described as a 'AKA kaboom'. It's not clear if that was due to the touchdown or falling over after touchdown.

Re:So was the landing successful? (1)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about a month ago | (#47450771)

I'm guessing it was probably related to a thing designed to land on land landing instead on ocean. Still. It will be fun to look at the data.

Re:So was the landing successful? (0)

amightywind (691887) | about a month ago | (#47451555)

Spaceflight now said this:

An update on the Falcon 9 first stage recovery via Twitter from Elon Musk: "Rocket booster reentry, landing burn & leg deploy were good, but lost hull integrity right after splashdown (aka kaboom)."

Looks like Musk fucked it up again. But that would never discourage you idiots.

Re: So was the landing successful? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47451675)

The man lands a rocket on the ocean and you claim that he fucked it up.
Only conservative idiots like you could come up with something like that. No doubt if you saw Jesus rise from death 3 days later, you idiots would ask what took him so long?

Re: So was the landing successful? (0)

kwbauer (1677400) | about a month ago | (#47453541)

"Only conservative idiots like you could come up with something like that. No doubt if you saw Jesus rise from death 3 days later, you idiots would ask what took him so long?" Since the general consensus is that only conservatives believe in Christ and that anyone who believes in Christ is an idiot, and pretty much the definition of Christian is believing that he rose on the 3rd day, exactly who is the target of your question?

Re: So was the landing successful? (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a month ago | (#47455993)

What does anything he said have to do with liberalism versus conservatism?

Congratulations on being the core part of the problem with the US Government - partisan blinders.

Re:So was the landing successful? (1)

budgenator (254554) | about a month ago | (#47452189)

The rocket launched Monday suffered a similar fate. "Rocket booster re-entry, landing burn & leg deploy were good, but lost hull integrity right after splashdown (aka kaboom)," Musk wrote on Twitter.
The failure may have been a bit on the energetic side; trying for a soft touch down with enough rocket fuel ant oxidiser to do a soft touch down is always potentially exciting.

Re:So was the landing successful? (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a month ago | (#47453905)

Especially when you have a hot bell and combustion chamber that suddenly come into contact with salt water.

Re:So was the landing successful? (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | about a month ago | (#47455211)

trying for a soft touch down with enough rocket fuel ant oxidiser to do a soft touch down is always potentially exciting.

I knew Spacex has done some new and inventive things in propulsion systems.
But oxidising rocket fuel ants? That's just plain weird...
I guess the new facility in Texas will include their own ant farm to keep down cost.

Re:So was the landing successful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455739)

They obviously have telemetry if not tracking video, otherwise where did Musk pull "lost hull integrity" out from? His ass as usual?
It just seems conspicuous by its absence, the telemetry doesn't include landing video.

And the recovery system? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47450631)

The Reuters article makes no mention of the landing attempt this time -- that's probably because it exploded the instant it touched the water. [spaceflightnow.com] My guess is superheated engine nozzles do not like ice cold seawater.

Re:And the recovery system? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47450707)

exploded the instant it touched the water.

How would that not make the highlight reel for the launch?

Re:And the recovery system? (2)

camperdave (969942) | about a month ago | (#47450835)

exploded the instant it touched the water.

How would that not make the highlight reel for the launch?

Because nobody was there to film it?

Re:And the recovery system? (1)

fgodfrey (116175) | about a month ago | (#47451641)

Apparently (and this is my understanding with no inside knowledge, so take it with a grain of salt), they don't have live video telemetry from the stage during decent. They have a variety of engineering data, but to get decent video, they need to get the stage back. Given that it blew up, I'm guessing that's unlikely. Last time, they had some spotty video relayed off a tracking aircraft, but they had to wait for the aircraft to land before anyone saw it. Maybe the same will happen here? Also, as a company, I have a suspicion that they aren't thrilled with releasing videos of their rockets exploding. While a lot of people here understand that that's likely inevitable, given how complex a task they're trying to achieve, the general public probably won't....

Re:And the recovery system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47452009)

They released a very bad condition video recovered from the stage (Or recovered from telemetry, no idea). They added some restoration techniques and her it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjZ33C9JZTM

It was pretty famous. I'm not a huge fan, and got the news. It looks clear from the video that the stage "landed" on the sea, but something happened afterwards.

Last news I heard is that it landed on pretty rough sea, they were late to the recovery and the thing sinked or was severily damaged.

Re: And the recovery system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47452087)

Actually, they do have live telemetry. That is why the last stuff was badly done. The issue here is that they want to show only sections. There is a lot that China would like to get from spacex

Re:And the recovery system? (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a month ago | (#47454217)

The previous telemetry that they recovered from the previous Falcon 9 rocket (not the one that flew today) was literally recovered from a pizza pan that somebody bent over their knee and stuck a radio receiver to the back and then pointed it out of a private aircraft towards the rocket during descent in one of the most jury rigged pieces of apparatus you could possibly imagine. That they got any kind of data at all is freaking amazing.

This has nothing to do with conspiracy theories, but rather that the telemetry is using some FM band (so the signal can actually get through the ionosphere when it is in or at least near space) and that ground stations capable of receiving the signal simply weren't really handy near the landing site.

It will be interesting to see what video comes from this current attempt, as I think something perhaps a little better might be recovered. I also doubt that SpaceX would mind if a video of the rocket landing in the water was shown for the evening news, even if it blew up after a wave crested over the middle of the rocket afterward. Perhaps the general public might learn a thing or two about rockets and aerospace engineering because of that too.

Why not go all the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47451923)

and make that sucker land like a drone/glider

Re: Why not go all the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47451997)

Too expensive in terms of weight and energy.

Re:Why not go all the way (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a month ago | (#47452127)

Would be more exciting to go all the way to the winged, manned, flyback Saturn V first stage proposal.

lost hull integrity right after splashdown (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47453857)

why didn't they route power to structural integrity ? An ensign would tell you that, its basic.

Man I'm happy for SpaceX (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47455127)

I'm overjoyed that SpaceX is constantly pushing the envelope. I hope that SpaceX one day will announce that they are sending people to Mars or who knows maybe even further then that. If anything I hope SpaceX sprouts more "space companies".

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