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14 February 2018


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They read like race horse names.

Mike C


Thanks, hadn't looked at that since the initial report. Trust but verify, etc. etc. (trying to nuke the bold again)


When will Musk explain why his advertisement car display did not fly to Mars but ten-thousands of miles off to nowhere?

That is WAY more important for further plans than the miss-landing of a rocket part.


You asked about autonomous drone ship/barge.
Here is an article from NASA from 2015 about that.
My best friend old college buddy Capt Latham provided barge for catching SpaceX off Florida, at times it was very exciting.


Pardon me, Capt Latham was captain/owner of the tugs pictured in article (they towed the barge), the barge itself belongs to Musk.


My comment has disappeared, so I will repost.
You asked about the barges used by SpaceX.
Here is a NASA article about them from 2015.
My college roomate/buddy Capt. Latham was/is Captain of the tugs which handle the SpaceX barge. A couple of his tugs are pictured in the NASA article, at his marina in Florida. He designed/built/ owns the tugs himself, taught himself how weld, etc. One of the most original minds on planet earth. Last year he towed the Constellation from Seattle to Texas for demolition. It was of course too big for Panama Canal.


It wasn't supposed to go to the planet. Scientists would have condemned that as a huge potential source of contamination of the planet, which has the potential to harbor microbial life underground. This has been explained in at least a few places.

The only object of the Tesla portion of the mission was to prove the Falcon Heavy could propel something to the distance of Mars orbit. This it did successfully.


This test was merely to prove that the Heavy could boost a significant payload to the orbit of Mars - not to orbit Mars.

The orbital path itself is a 'Hohmann transfer orbit' which is the most economical path, and pretty dang slow. If they wanted to actually get to Mars they also would have had to time the launch properly - Earth and Mars are in the proper positions for this type of launch only once every 26 months. Obviously, they can't wait around that long just to test the rockets. When they get the bugs out of the systems, then they will get everyone and everything in one spot for a launch to Mars. If there are problems with that attempt they would actually have to wait around another 2 years for another launch window. Getting there faster, and on a better schedule would require lots more fuel or vastly more efficient rockets.

The Culture starships would of course just dip into hyperspace and be there in a flash.


When the drone barge is in Port Canaveral, there is a support ship tied up next to it and I suspect it tows the barge to the landing zone and then pulls away to a safe distance.

I still think being able to reuse rockets is a big game changer. It was very exciting to watch the first one land at the Cape. It came down so fast that I thought it would crash, but it didn't.


i find it far more concerning that it was caused by an oversight, or what one might call negligence than because of some technical fault or failure.

Sans Racines

The only Iain Banks novel I read was The Bridge when it came out - the thing that stuck in my mind to this day was the thought of the Barbarian rampaging around Greek mythology and doing away with Charon - who would have thought of that?


You mean the center booster running out of fuel? These things are difficult to test for until you actually get real situational data, and this was the first real time they could get that.

I wouldn't call that negligence. This was advertised as a test flight. That's what test flights are for. With the data SpaceX gained here, I'm sure there is a much higher chance of them getting things right for the center core the next time around.

And at any rate, the only entity affected by the failure was SpaceX. If this would have happened with a customer flying something on the rocket, they would have been very happy with the results. Whereas all other rockets nowadays do essentially what the center core did (fall to the Earth destroyed), it's a bit interesting to see people use words like "concerning" and "negligence" and other derogatory language towards SpaceX when little things go wrong.

Unless I've misunderstood what you're referring to, in which case, pay no attention to me!

r whitman

Slightly off subject: For a good science fiction read I suggest "Saturn Run" by John Sanford(of Prey series detective novels fame) and Ctein(photographic artist and rocket scientist).


Another source of inspiration, might just be the following:
Check the section past 10’10” for a minute and thereafter one more minute past 6 min mark.
Caveat conflict of interest: my brother-in-law works for his not-really-competition, Orbital.


I recently discovered the Revelation Space universe where they have sleeper technology down pat. Talk about your space opera, Reynolds can surely write.


Also the introduction of digital systems eliminated analogs along with the often bizarre defects that went with them. I suggest that, unfortunately, digital aircraft design has gone too far in some areas.


I appears that SpaceX is going to try and attempt to catch the payload fairing.


They have never provided any detail about other recovery attempts, other than if the fairing(s) were recovered or not: but never ever how.

Launch is scheduled from Vandenberg at 6:17AM and it should provide a good show as the exhaust trail is illuminated by the sun against the dark morning sky.

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