SpaceX's Grasshopper

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Wanderlust, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Does trampoline refer to the water surface?

    Here's a video of some Texan cows (watching F9R go to a kilometre and then land). I hope the next CRS this happens from orbital velocity.
     
  2. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    The cows were agitated because the rocket wasn't following a normal flight profile. For about twenty bovine generations, rockets have taken off with all engines lit and shot skyward, gaining continual velocity. The F9R looks like it took a passing interest in the herd and might just drift over to grill them.
     
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Iod, the shining hunter returns!
     
  4. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Musk/Space X being attacked on the web by ULA spokeman
    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34684.0

    The phrase involving the words "deaf ears" comes to mind...

    George Sowers tries to say that "ULA does not 'recieve' a subsidy"

    And the response? " Regarding the term 'subsidy', if one looks at the definition of the word, it's hard to define the Launch Capability contract as anything but a subsidy."

    One of the better responses: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34684.msg1196383#msg1196383

    "I'm sorry, but IMHO, ULA was born of illegitimacy. The appeals to ULA's patriotism and the denigration of SpaceX as irresponsible and meddlesome are purely laughable when coming from a corporation with the history that it has"

    More:

    "I find ULA's irresponsibility the more galling. It is sending tens of millions of dollars a year to the acquisitive Russian government meanwhile our diplomats have to walk a tightrope of punishment and wink-and-nod in order to assure a continued supply to ULA. How did ULA get us in to this mess?"

    Elon was going to the former Soviets to buy some rockets--but got treated in a rather ugly fashion:

    Elon was ready to buy three Russian ICBMs for $21 million when the Russians told him that no, they meant $21 million for one. "They taunted him," Cantrell says. "They said, 'Oh, little boy, you don't have the money?' I said, 'Well, that's that.' I was sitting behind him on the flight back to London when he looked at me over the seat and said, 'I think we can build a rocket ourselves.'"

    http://www.esquire.com/features/americans-2012/elon-musk-interview-1212

    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34607.msg1196373#msg1196373


    in unrelated news, take a look at the puff fusion concept here
    http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/05/niac-fostering-tomorrows-exploration-technology/

    China moonbase model
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...638.1073741928.237730352954640&type=1&theater
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  5. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Forgive me, but I am having a nerd-gasm over how elegantly SpaceX is failing in right about everything, I am almost willing to forgive them for their success. If only everyone else was failing in this manner, it would restore my faith in humanity.

    Cheese in space, launch aborts, rocket engines exploding on tape. Launch manifest seriously delayed beyond any planning by preposterous, downright insane R&D and unexpected rocket upgrades nobody asked for. Their rockets are so unreliable their paranoid launch escape system will send astronauts for refuge on Mars. NASA and ESA tells them it's impossible to reuse rockets, they boneheadedly say common wisdom is not good enough for them and start landing stages and clock dozens of launches worth of engine firing in Texas.

    And then what? They decide to fuck up all the legal issues too, and demonstrate the incompetence of their legal team by starting an utterly unsound failed challenge against ULA that gets everybody talking about how buying over-expensive engines from an unreliable partner is somehow neither cheap nor secure. Stirring the pot much, eh?

    The only way it could get better if they accidentally ship weed on their first manned flight.
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I think you're taking the piss, but it's hard to tell.
     
  7. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    He forgot to mention the increased pad wear that occurs whenever you launch a rocket more than a couple times a year, or once every couple of years. A launch can be devastating to the paint, allowing the pad to start rusting. But the protective rust layer will get blasted clean with each new launch, eroding the steel. If you want your launch pads to last, best not to launch at all, much less with the insane frequency that SpaceX is proposing. They're just crazy and irresponsible, giving no thought to the time that's supposed to go between sanding, priming, putting on the first coat, and then second coat. Their launch pads are always going to look like sorry flaky rust buckets.
     
  8. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am not sure if my intent was to take a piss, I was kinda being serious (except for the cheese and exaggeration, obviously). ;) When something doesn't go smoothly at SpaceX or they suffer a setback of any kind, I am genuinely excited for the way it often happens, or the reason the setback happened. Problems end up being a technological demonstration, what would have been a disaster end up being no big deal for F9, and there are surprises every time.

    But then I am messed up that way, I also think that Apollo 13 did more for manned spaceflight than a successful Apollo 13 would have, in terms of demonstrating a number of space firsts that are crucial if we intend to seriously go into space – surviving engine failures, re-purposing spacecraft, improvising spaceflight plans, manufacturing necessities in space, rescuing astronauts (not technically a rescue, but still), course corrections by hand, and last but not least, giving assurance to humanity that space is possible even in the light of a disaster that one would expect to be deadly.

    So how gracefully you handle a failure is a very important test on how well-suited our technology is for something so dangerous. I am very sentimental to that. And the (albeit minor) problems that SpaceX had are only reassuring. One would expect that the engine failure a second before lift off would have costed them the rocket, but a fault-tolerant design saved the day. It's little things like that.

    (And I also like Elon's tendencies to go against common practises or to take wild risk, but that's starting too sound too much like hero worship. ;) )
     
  9. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't say they've had an engine failure seconds before lift off. They've certainly never replaced an engine for any rocket that's made it to the pad. They have had some thrust anomalies that forced a shutdown moments before launch.

    But yeah, I get what you are saying. SpaceX is very good at success through adversity.
     
  10. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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    We all seem to learn more, and learn faster, from our mistakes or disappointing results than from our successes--if we examine them honestly and objectively, to find out why that approach failed and how we might be able to solve that problem.

    Edison kept trying, and Churchill said to never give up.
     
  11. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Either my sarcasm detector is malfunctioning, or you've just created the perfect meta-post that is somehow equally insulting to both sides, FROM both sides.

    Also: Weed on the first manned flight? I'm pretty sure the ISS crew will hold a press release in which the station commander will announce, "Yes, we have learned that the SpaceX demonstration pilot WAS carrying a dime bag with him when he came to the station. We strongly deplore this action and we condemn SpaceX's total lapse in judgement, and we can assure all of you back home that we intend to fully and safely dispose of the offending substance just as soon as Orbital Sciences ships us an extra bag of Doritos."
     
  12. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You mean that the obviously stoned station commander will announce "The reports of weed being shipped aboard the Dragon have been greatly exaggerated. We all looked for it all across the capsule just now and didn't find any."
     
  13. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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  14. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    It leaves on Sunday.
     
  15. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And we now know what a first stage landing looks like.

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQnR5fhCXkQ[/yt]


    This is much better than the previous one, and despite the ice, this time you can see that the landing went perfectly. Hope they let them do it on land the next time.
     
  16. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    We still don't know if they can land it accurately, as in where they want to. Until they can do fairly pinpoint location targeting the FAA is going to be pretty shy about letting them bring the stage back to the coast of Florida.

    Regardless, the next two flights won't be doing landing tests, the crs-4 flight after those will have a "low chance of success" for landing per SpaceX. The two flights after that they hope to try landing on a "solid surface". Read into that statement what you will.
     
  17. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I assume this refers to some kind of water platform, I've seen such mentioned somewhere by SpaceX IIRC. Although I find the idea of landing on a floating platform vertically a little bit crazier than landing on land, so if that's what it means it is kinda cooler than a land landing.
     
  18. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, a floating platform makes a great deal more sense, especially if they have control of the descending stage (which they probably do). SpaceX has so far demonstrated an intense hatred of red-tape, and they could easily get around FAA obstructions by simply towing their landing pad out to sea on a barge and then not giving a fuck what happens after that. It's the same thing they did with the Dragon and the Falcon 9 before it: once they've proven the concept, it becomes politically infeasible to argue against letting them try it for real.
     
  19. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah. I am just irrationally wary of withstanding the weight of a rocket plus the pressure of the engines without having a solid ground underneath you. It's as crazy as the Zenit launches. It's not actually that big of a feat, but when I first heard about it I thought "wait, this is possible?"

    By the way, if SpaceX have full control over landing location, why haven't they been able to get a camera crew near the spot to record the whole thing?
     
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    This was only the 3rd landing attempt. I am guessing they are being cautious about putting people in harm's way.