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John_Cillis

Congrats Again to SpaceX for a successful launch and orbit

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Just saw, all three boosters landed safely, two at Cape Canaveral on land and the third on SpaceX's drone ship.  Amazing success of private technology on our way to the first manned US mission possibly later this year....

John

 

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Is it just me who thinks it incredibly stupid to land an expensive bit of hardware on a ship all the way from the edge of space only to lose it on the drive home?  Perhaps they should study sea states a bit more, it's not exactly rocket science :)

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12 minutes ago, lzamm said:

Is it just me who thinks it incredibly stupid to land an expensive bit of hardware on a ship all the way from the edge of space only to lose it on the drive home?  Perhaps they should study sea states a bit more, it's not exactly rocket science 🙂

hehehe, See what you did there. I'm not sure either. It has a reason I'm sure.

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7 hours ago, lzamm said:

Is it just me who thinks it incredibly stupid to land an expensive bit of hardware on a ship all the way from the edge of space only to lose it on the drive home?  Perhaps they should study sea states a bit more, it's not exactly rocket science 🙂

SpaceX didn't get to where they are by being stupid. They do have a system for securing rockets on the drive ships with their Octagrabber robot. However, as this rocket was a center core, and thus a slightly different design than previous rockets, the robot didn't work. Future updates will fix it. On this launch they were more concerned about landing the core, which did work.

 

Compare this to every other rocket out there that cost far more and don't recover anything.

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On 4/17/2019 at 3:23 AM, lzamm said:

Is it just me who thinks it incredibly stupid to land an expensive bit of hardware on a ship all the way from the edge of space only to lose it on the drive home?  Perhaps they should study sea states a bit more, it's not exactly rocket science 🙂

While I get your argument, I'd suggest there's only so much they can do to control the sea.

For all of these initial flights, the recovery of first-stage elements is considered to be a secondary mission objective. As the recoveries become more frequent and compelling (eg: the double landings of the two Falcon Heavy boosters), we may start to think they are the norm - but in fact, they're still very much experimental.

SpaceX may soon find that at-sea recovery is not as effective as first thought, and abandon that idea down the road - saving them some weight in hardware and propellant which can instead be used to up the useful payload. After all, we do have a greatest hits YouTube reel of all the failed sea "recoveries" of SpaceX boosters. Or, they get better at it and we start plucking boosters from a barge. 🙂

Until then, I think we can rest assured that they have a solid test plan, a solid innovation plan, and a solid business plan.

In the first grade, my class sat on the floor of Mrs. Cornell's room to watch the liftoff of STS-1, just a few days past 38 years ago. It was Columbia's, and indeed the shuttle's, maiden voyage. I have been hooked on space and aviation since that day. Today, my son in first grade and gets to watch this new evolution of spaceflight. I'm sad it's not NASA providing the inspiration, but...  BUT...  at least SOMEbody is stepping up and reaching for the stars.

I just remember what an inspiration it was for me as a kid. I only hope my son can see people doing things for a greater good and exploration like I did and so many in my generation. If SpaceX is to be that "vehicle", then so be it. Launch a mannequin, launch a Tesla... launch an imagination and a mind... forget taxes and budgets - THAT's the value that popular society has forgotten... 

I always choose the YouTube clips which have the SpaceX crowd roaring and excited for him to watch. It shows that it's OK to be excited about exciting things.

Sorry if that all sounds like a rant. Izamm, I know you weren't trying to indict SpaceX for their lack of seamanship. It struck a chord though, and I hope you take this as a positive contribution rather than negative.

Let's give SpaceX, Blue Horizon, Roscosmos, and NASA the leeway to get back into our children's minds the same way we rode along on so many missions in years past. Holy cow is it powerful.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, greggerm said:

SpaceX may soon find that at-sea recovery is not as effective as first thought, and abandon that idea down the road - saving them some weight in hardware and propellant which can instead be used to up the useful payload. After all, we do have a greatest hits YouTube reel of all the failed sea "recoveries" of SpaceX boosters. Or, they get better at it and we start plucking boosters from a barge.

Actually, the reason they do the sea recoveries is because they use too much propellant boosting the payload to get back to land, and the extra fuel and weight doesn't cost much. The part that was missing this time was updating the robot used to secure the rocket so it can handle the Falcon Heavy centre cores.

https://www.elonx.net/octagrabber/

Edited by goates

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1 hour ago, goates said:

Actually, the reason they do the sea recoveries is because they use too much propellant boosting the payload to get back to land, and the extra fuel and weight doesn't cost much. The part that was missing this time was updating the robot used to secure the rocket so it can handle the Falcon Heavy centre cores.

https://www.elonx.net/octagrabber/

Yes indeed,

When I watched the video I saw how far out the third stage went into the Atlantic, vs the two other boosters that were able to descent to and land at Cape Canaveral.  I am also interested in Blue Origin, but I suspect SpaceX will get a crew into Space before they will, although Blue Origin is a bit more secretive than SpaceX.  I wish though there were a shuttle replacement, the Air Force has their secretive unmanned shuttle, but we need something that can take off and land from a runway to reduce costs, I feel.

John

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10 minutes ago, John_Cillis said:

Yes indeed,

When I watched the video I saw how far out the third stage went into the Atlantic, vs the two other boosters that were able to descent to and land at Cape Canaveral.  I am also interested in Blue Origin, but I suspect SpaceX will get a crew into Space before they will, although Blue Origin is a bit more secretive than SpaceX.  I wish though there were a shuttle replacement, the Air Force has their secretive unmanned shuttle, but we need something that can take off and land from a runway to reduce costs, I feel.

John

A Falcon 9 is about $62m per launch and the Falcon Heavy is $90m, while the Delta IV starts at $350m (and probably more like $400-600m) and the space shuttle was about $450m. Nobody can match them on cost right now. SpaceX's plan to keep reducing costs is making something entirely reusable, booster and all, as well as gaining experience with landing rockets vertically. This part becomes very useful when landing on the Moon or Mars, which is Mr. Musk's long term goal.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/02/three-years-of-sls-development-could-buy-86-falcon-heavy-launches/

As far as launching astronauts go, SpaceX is on track to launch astronauts to the ISS as early as this summer. Blue Origin's first manned flights will be suborbital for now.

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22 minutes ago, goates said:

A Falcon 9 is about $62m per launch and the Falcon Heavy is $90m, while the Delta IV starts at $350m (and probably more like $400-600m) and the space shuttle was about $450m. Nobody can match them on cost right now. SpaceX's plan to keep reducing costs is making something entirely reusable, booster and all, as well as gaining experience with landing rockets vertically. This part becomes very useful when landing on the Moon or Mars, which is Mr. Musk's long term goal.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/02/three-years-of-sls-development-could-buy-86-falcon-heavy-launches/

As far as launching astronauts go, SpaceX is on track to launch astronauts to the ISS as early as this summer. Blue Origin's first manned flights will be suborbital for now.

Thanks for the information, that is good to know.  Anything to reduce costs to get into space is important. 

John

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On ‎4‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 5:30 PM, goates said:

SpaceX didn't get to where they are by being stupid

Peace - I was having a little joke at their expense.  Don't know about you, but I still remember staying up to see the moon landings on TV.  Anybody who can put things into space, and even get them back, deserves our full admiration, and I'm rooting for SpaceX.

 

On ‎4‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 10:07 AM, goates said:

SpaceX's plan to keep reducing costs is making something entirely reusable, booster and all, as well as gaining experience with landing rockets vertically

Actually everything I've read says that there isn't that much to be saved with reusable hardware.  While I haven't done the math myself (purely out of laziness, I should add), the cost of the fuel tanks, engines, etc. is minimal compared to the massive cost of development and, surprisingly, the ground organization that supports the launch.  Furthermore the main way to get hardware costs down is mass production, and reusability actually goes in the opposite direction.  Where reusability comes in handy is in giving the possibility for performing more launches in a given time, as the assembly, testing and qualification of space hardware is very time-consuming and refurbishment can be performed much faster.   So it does come back to bucks in the end, but because time is money rather than because of the savings on the hardware itself. 

 

 

 

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If significant cost reductions were not achievable with reusability, I doubt that SpaceX would have wasted the time and money building the infrastructure to accommodate it.

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