SpaceX releases new video of Falcon 9 launch and landing


#1

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#2

W00T!

Man that suicide burn on that first stage landing is balls-to-the-wall. That thing was coming down so fast!


#3

That is just totally awesome!


#4

I guess the fuel needed to decelerate an empty rocket just aint that much if you time it right! Never understood why the 1960’s parawing to runway return plans for boosters were abandoned. Saw reference to it requiring a wing that weighed 1/5 that of the vehicle, seems crazy.


#5

Well yeah. The physics involved for this kind of landing rely on two facts:

1.) Rockets are engineered to be as light as possible so they can carry more fuel more efficiently.
2.) The closer you are to the ground before you start your suicide burn, the less fuel you’re going to use, and the less the chance of overshooting and starting to go back up again.

If it started its anti-radial suicide burn earlier, it would have consumed more fuel, stayed in the air longer, and would have had more time to screw up.


#6

I’m on mobile data so no vid right now–was this a land landing or the sea landing?


#7

Land. On a pad. Looked like it was pretty close to the launch facility as well. Really first stages are just for lifting the rocket through the thickest, most inefficient part of the atmosphere. Once the rocket’s above the thickest air, it gains a lot more efficiency, if Kerbal Space Program is any indication.


#8

Okay, so the sea landing is still coming up. I honestly didn’t know they had a launch scheduled before the third sea test.


#9

I was startled by the lack of skinny ties and white shirts and clean-shaven chins on the ground control staff.


#10

I was first startled by how young everyone there was. Then I made myself sad realizing they’re my age, and that I could be there if I’d applied myself in college.


#11

please don’t find a technical solution for this inefficiency. my lungs are happy with the way it is.


#12

Oh, there’s technical remedies for the air being just too darn thick at sea-level that don’t involve necessarily removing all that pesky air.

For instance, if we ever build a space elevator, we might also be able to build a space “straw” that goes up a hundred or so miles and is just vacuum on the inside. Then you can launch your rockets in there!

I’m sure @shaddack can regale us with multiple other fixes for so much troublesome air near the ground.


#13

Heh, I just realized, in the Kerbal Space Program community, we have a sort of saying:

We can get to [place] the easy way, or the Kerbal way.

The Kerbal way is usually a lot more… explodey. But I just now realized a very Kerbal solution to the air problem could be: digging a very deep hole, and hollowing out a chunk of the planet. The air flows into the hole, the surface atmosphere becomes thinner.


#14

The dug-out material can also be used for building a high mountain to launch from.

If we already have the space elevator, then just drive the thing up along the vertical highway. The main problem with rockets is that they have to carry their energy supply for the priciest part of the flight; with an elevator it can be provided from the ground via stationary cables or laser or anything else without having to lug and accelerate all the bulky heavy propellant.


#15

Do you know if there’s been any progress on the front of using RAM accelerators or light gas guns to launch durable payloads?

I remember touring a local university during an engineering open house back in 2002 where they had the country’s largest RAM accelerator. The thing was massive, and they had some misfired projectiles that got nicked on the side of the barrel. Projectiles made out of titanium that were originally 40cm long with a 20cm cross section tied in knots from the misfire. On a successful fire, there’s no projectile left. It’s mostly just dust after it hits the several meter thick carpet backstop.


#16

No idea, didn’t hear anything. But I don’t think there’s that much of uses for this as many payloads are less than durable. :frowning: The acceleration could do a number on electronics and sensor payloads on most things that are worth the bother of a space launch.

Though, some missile warhead payloads are capable of surviving full-speed penetration through thick concrete… Could be interesting to see the construction/design tricks…


#17

Cool. Now do it again. Do it enough times that it’s no longer news.


#18

That landing! I wonder how many times they hope to reuse the same components?


#19

at least once?

iirc SpaceX announced after the successful landing that they have no idea about the integrity of the stage’s part and are really interested to take a look at the machinery. if I didn’t miss something the general public has no further infos.


#20

They look young but are probably around the same age as the people we see in the vintage Apollo control room photos. Back in the 1960s people dressed and presented themselves more maturely. Today we see people wearing pajamas in public and grown men who don’t know how to tie a necktie. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, just saying that times are just different.