WATCH: Astronauts prepare for rare splashdown in SpaceX capsule, target is 7:34 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/31/astronauts-prepare-for-rare-sp.html

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Also, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is a fascist

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Hey, he is living The American Dream*TM !

* Terms and conditions apply. Participation may be restricted due to skin melanin content, gender, credit rating or any other arbitrary regulation we make up as it suits us.
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…and Wernher von Braun was a Nazi.

“Science does not have a moral dimension. It is like a knife. If you give it to a surgeon or a murderer, each will use it differently.”

–WvB

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Yeah, Elon’s one of those people where I wish he was not such an apparently intrinsic part of his companies, since he’s not just an asshole but a fascist and linked to Epstein (so possibly a pedophile). I like what Tesla and SpaceX the companies are working towards, but that’s just because they’re doing the work faster than other companies.

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And that was bad, too.

snl-cathy-ann-all-nazis-bad

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Didn’t say it wasn’t. :man_shrugging:

Fair enough. Others have justified it, though, as they justify the privatization of space programs… :woman_shrugging:

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Also, JFTR, “We’ll coup whoever…” was, in context, the setup for a one-two punch of a reply to a preposterous accusation. But everyone leaves off the punch and the context so they can yell about “fascism” to assert their moral superiority.

But hey, whatever. Why should we waste time talking about the return of human space flight capability to the US when we could be playing yet another round of “Let’s all dunk on Elon Musk.”

Won’t that be exciting!

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So, on topic:

Did everyone notice that NASA has just now approved re-use of boosters and capsules for the Commercial Crew Program?

NASA’s original contract w/SpaceX insisted on all-new hardware for crewed flights. Since SpaceX owns the hardware, they could re-use it for commercial flights, but not for NASA Crew flights.

But NASA has already seen the results of many booster re-uses on the commercial side and some capsule re-use on Commercial Cargo, so they’ve become more confident in the capabilities of re-used hardware.

So when NASA wanted SpaceX to turn Bob&Doug’s short Demo-2 mission into an extended, more nearly operational-length mission (so B&D could help out w/some much-needed spacewalks), they had to renegotiate the (firm fixed-price!) contract.

So instead of offering SpX more money (which they would have to wheedle out of Congress), they offered to allow reusability instead.

As a result, the capsule that is about to return will be re-used on the second operational flight (Crew-2), along with the booster that lifted the uncrewed Demo-1 flight (remember “Ripley” and stuffed-toy Earth?)

Most observers expected NASA to accept re-use eventually, but many were surprised at it happening so soon.

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Who’s getting punched again?

Is somebody yelling?

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A couple of SpaceX engineers (former colleagues of mine) — overworked, on occasions stiffed on o/t, and sometimes placed in unsafe OSHA-triggering environments — would disagree.

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The guy who complained about “the U.S. government organizing a coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so you could obtain the lithium there.”

That’s a preposterous claim on several levels, as anyone familiar with recent Bolivian political history could tell you.

And, as Elon’s followup noted, “Also, we get our lithium from Australia.”

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what a whiner, somebody should punch people like that

There might be an analysis floating around that the re-used hardware is more reliable than totally new hardware,

So frustrated with the EST PST time references. Why can’t they use Universal time to operate to a T minus format for flight operations. I hate that SPx is so US focused from a mission timing perspective.

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Indeed. In reliability engineering, it’s a commonplace that failure rates often exhibit a so-called “bathtub curve”:

Probably your safest bet is a once-flown used rocket. If it made it to space and back once already, it doesn’t have any fatal “factory defects.” (-;

(And note that that’s exactly what the contract mod permits - one reuse only. Not two or more.)

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One of the reasons Elon’s companies are able to do that work faster is that he’s willing and able to disregard ethical and safety guidelines to accomplish his goals.

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…and why extra cost “warranties” are not usually recommended. If whatever you bought gets through the mandated “no questions asked” return period it’ll probably last as long as you want it to

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With careful front end design, the user can be given times in their configured timezone.

And for everybody else, yeah, there is UTC.