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30 March 2017

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Priam's Crazy Daughter

This is such good news. It should be on the front page of every paper tomorrow.

Jimmy_W

Will probably have to wait for those elevators and/or electromagnetic launchers before orbital access cost comes down enough.

Daniel Nicolas

They recovered the first stage again AND the payload faring (for the first time).

The new target Elon has set is to have rocket launch, refurb, and relaunch again within 24 hours! by end of 2018.

They need that pace to be able to meet their own rocket launch demand - Google invested $1B into SpaceX for the purpose of SpaceX putting up a fleet of 4,000+ sats to provide high bandwidth internet coverage across the globe.

Jim MacMillan

I'm a fan of Musk and wish him well in all his enterprises. But his new Neural Lace project is light years beyond my ken. I will cheer the project if it manages to "treat or diagnose neurological ailments". But perhaps I am too old to apprehend the concept of brain implants tapping into the WWW or the 'Cloud'. Am putting Iaian Banks 'Culture' novels on my reading list.

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21719774-do-human-beings-need-embrace-brain-implants-stay-relevant-elon-musk-enters


b

A sad day when the U.S. can no longer afford new rockets but has to go with used ones. Rest assured dear people of North Korea. Our country will always be able to afford a new missile for each shot at the stars.

Your great leader
Kim Jong Un

/snark

Joke aside: Congrats to the team that made it possible. Technically a great feat. (Though I am not sure that it makes economic sense).

BabelFish

The SpaceX news just got better. They also returned the payload fairing, using small thrusters and a sophisticated parachute system, to see if they can start reusing that as well. This clam shell part is big enough to enclose a school bus and encloses the sattelite that is being launched. Fabulous!

hans

it's hard to find adequate superlatives to surround Elon Musk, a practical visionary - his cars are terrific, his Gigafactory is up to speed, his energy wall storage systems are on back-order, his hyperloop concepts are being implemented... and so on and on

Laura

Good news that we can all cheer together! We will be a space-faring people...Amen to that.

ISL

Awesome news: Enterprise NX-01 has moved beyond control of the (non-draining) swamp.

In equally amazing news, Trump left NASA's budget alone.

Tech news: It would be nice (as with the murky and rather disturbing finances of Tesla) to see a balance sheet that reuse makes economic sense.

now if only the Chinese would land a person on Mars we would see some real action.

Allen Thomson

Some detail:

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/03/31/spacex-flies-rocket-for-second-time-in-historic-test-of-cost-cutting-technology/

"With this being the first reflight, we were incredibly paranoid about everything,” Musk said. “The core airframe remained the same, the engines remained the same, but any sort of auxiliary components that we thought might be slightly questionable, we changed out,” Musk said....

SpaceX intends to cut down on the refurbishment and hardware swapouts on future reused rockets. Design upgrades are coming soon to address several weak points, such as the booster’s steering grid fins, which are prone to heating and can catch fire in flight.

“The next thing is to try and figure out how do we achieve very rapid reuse with minimal refurbishment, and without any sort of hardware changes on the vehicle,” Musk said.

“Our aspiration will be zero hardware changes (with) a reflight in 24 hours, and the only thing that changes is we reload propellant,” Musk said. “We might get there toward the end of this year, but if not this year, I’m confident we’ll get there next year.”

Sam Peralta

Col. Lang

I believe you will be proven prescient as you have been on many national security matters. "We will be a space faring people."

With Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson also getting into it and countries like India with low-cost space launch vehicles and of course the Russians with their heavy lift capabilities, there should be new energy in innovation. Very exciting indeed!

hans

Musk's adventures just make me cheerful -we need a dozen, a score, hundreds more like him... here's an ice videom, maybe it'll cheer you up too
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSF81yjVbJE

Sans racines

Very impressive - science fiction brought to life! Congratulations to the team... just incredibly ingenious.

Peter AU

Space travel. Where to?
All to date known planets are far less hospitable to humans than the most inhospitable unpopulated parts of earth. Traveling and living totally isolated from the environment? Not my idea of fun.

Peter AU

Being pessimistic, as there are no known habitable planets at the moment, and if any are found, they would be out of reach of current tech for humans, the most that may come of this may be low cost space warfare?
Reaching other places that are hospitable to humans would rely on far more powerful/higher tech drive units rather than reusable rockets?

Flying a mad max machine, I used to tell my kids I could fly to the moon on zippy ties and silastic. Youngest daughter believed me. I guess I let her down a bit.

Fred

Peter,

A good question. Once upon a time the settled science was that the Earth was flat. We used to celebrate the achievement of Columbus in finding the New World but that is no longer politically correct.

ISL

Peter AU,

Asteroids - nearly unlimited resources not in a gravity well..... A bit early for penny stocks....

There are many industrial processes that only will work in zero gravity, and many work better. Hopefully in the next century most factories will move into space.

Babak Makkinejad

One of those in the TRAPPIST system might be habitable:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v542/n7642/full/nature21360.html

A spaceship built along the lines the Orion Project and accelerated to half of speed of light could get there in 67 years of subjective time.

Robot ships could probably do better since they would not need all that extra mass to support human life.

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