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Merc14

SpaceX makes history!

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Merc14

SpaceX has done it! They have successfully landed a Falcon 9 first stage rocket on the ground after it lifted its payload into space. The second stage burned as expected and then successfully released its 11 ORBCOMM-2 satellites into correct orbit thereby making this return to space not only historically significant for space flight but completely successful for SpaceX. This is a game changer.

If you love this stuff I can't recommend enough watching the webcast. http://www.spacex.co.....om/webcast/

Go to full-screen and you can select launch and then watch the mission in 20 minutes and hear/watch the excitement the entire SpaceX team was feeling. Great stuff and well done SpaceX! Better late than never and hopefully all parties are now satisfied.

Edited by Merc14
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Imaginarynumber1

This is pretty freaking sweet. It makes space travel waaaaay more affordable.

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Imaginarynumber1

16 million to build a falcon 9. 200,000 to refuel it.

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toast

:tu:

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Peter B

Well, that was flaming impressive. Literally. :-)

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Imaginarynumber1

:tu:

Now how many videos of this will pop up on youtube and be reposted here as "AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REAL LIFE UFO LANDING CAUGHT ON CAMERA!!!!!!!!"

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Imaginarynumber1

http://www.spacex.com/webcast/

Skip to the 32 min mark on the video to see the landing.

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Sundew

"After a sting of unsuccessful attempts." That's to be expected, but let's hope risk is greatly reduced. There is already risk of catastrophic failure upon launch, this probably more than doubles the chances of such an event.

If the vertical landing becomes generally reliable it will certainly save millions of dollars and reduce turn around time for launches.

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Merc14

Here is the landing as filmed from a nearby hovering helicopter

The backlighting from the engine allows you to clearly see the deployed landing legs.

"After a sting of unsuccessful attempts." That's to be expected, but let's hope risk is greatly reduced. There is already risk of catastrophic failure upon launch, this probably more than doubles the chances of such an event.

The string of unsuccessful tests simply means that the first stages returned to earth as normal, by crashing into the sea. I think by being able to get close, every time, with the barge at sea that all parties felt comfortable with an attempted landing at the Cape, which worked perfectly. The up side is immense and hopefully SpaceX continues to improve the process and the rockets, just at they updated and redesigned the Falcon 9 after the failed launch a few months ago.

It will be interesting to see what kind of condition the rocket is actually in after its successful landing. Just an engineering guess at this time since this is the first of its kind and a relaunch with subsequent successful landing will really verify the process. At worst they can reuse some parts thereby saving costs. Really, nothing to lose here and very much to gain.

Edited by Merc14
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toast

Now how many videos of this will pop up on youtube and be reposted here as "AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REAL LIFE UFO LANDING

CAUGHT ON CAMERA!!!!!!!!"

I tell ya: too many to think that humans are intelligent in general.

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BeastieRunner

That's so flipping cool!

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b0wn

Great! More space junk around the planet.

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toast

Great! More space junk around the planet.

Understand the concept first and comment, or not, when understood.

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pallidin

Truly a remarkable achievement, IMO.

Don't know the cost of "re-furbishing" to a "flight-ready" status, but remarkable nonetheless!!!

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Merc14

Great! More space junk around the planet.

They put 11 satellites in orbit and then deorbited the second stage so what space junk are you talking about?

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toast

Don't know the cost of "re-furbishing" to a "flight-ready" status, but remarkable nonetheless!!!

For each Falcon9 mission 9 Merlin-1D engines dont get wasted and thats quite a good deal as one of them is something

in between 1.3 and 2.0M USD.

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DieChecker

This was so impressive I almost started crying while showing it to my kids. They (7 yrs and 4 yrs) were like "What? Don't spaceships always land like that?"

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Infernal Gnu

This is reminiscent of 1950's sci-fi flicks where the rocketship lands on its tail fins. I thought that would never happen in reality.

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Davros of Skaro

Just wait to what the future holds.

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Merc14

Just wait to what the future holds.

I love this statement. The longer I live the more amazed I am by our species. So brilliant, inventive and amazing and wonderful to see what we are capable of. Horrible things as well and I've been to wars but I am much more thrilled by the many brilliant ones who run a spacecraft through the Saturn system for over a decade or land a huge rover on Mars. I look to the future with great expectations as well.

Edited by Merc14

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Peter B

Interesting little thing I noticed at staging while watching the video: When the first stage engines were shut down, the stack was travelling at just over 6000 km/h. By the time the second stage engine ignited, that speed had dropped to about 5700 km/h. But even so the stack continued to lose speed for about half a minute more. It eventually bottomed out at about 5650 km/h. So obviously at ignition and for a little while later, the mass of the second stage and payload is greater than the engine's thrust - it's only as the propellant is used that the mass drops enough that the stack can actually accelerate.

I remember reading somewhere that this also happened on nominal launches of the Space Shuttle: after the SRBs were discarded, for a few seconds afterwards the mass of the Orbiter and ET plus propellant was high enough that the stack lost speed, but more than made up for it as it got lighter.

It's not a problem - the fact the payload makes it to orbit demonstrates that. It's just one of those little counter-intuitive things you sometimes see.

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highdesert50

A truly admirable event. It captured our imaginations while maintaining a distance that kindles our fantasies of longing and aspiration to explore the unattainable. Yet, it sustains our hopes and dreams and makes them seem attainable.

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Waspie_Dwarf

What’s next for SpaceX’s recovered Falcon 9 booster?

SpaceX ground crews at Kennedy Space Center’s Apollo-era launch complex 39A are putting the 156-foot-tall Falcon 9 first stage booster that flew to space and back Dec. 21 through a thorough inspection, setting the stage for a hold-down test firing at the launch pad.

Workers tilted the rocket on its side at Landing Zone 1, a former Atlas missile launch facility at Cape Canaveral, where the booster made its vertical rocket-assisted landing.

arrow3.gifRead more...

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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX poised to test-fire landed Falcon rocket's engines

SpaceX as soon as Thursday aims to test-fire the engines of the Falcon 9 rocket booster that made a historic Dec. 21 landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The test less than a month after the landing would be an important demonstration of the feasibility of reusing such boosters, which SpaceX believes is critical to lowering launch costs.

In a change of plans, the company is poised to perform the test at Launch Complex 40, its active pad at the Cape, rather than at Kennedy Space Center’s pad 39A.

arrow3.gifRead more...

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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Merc14

I understand the historic nature of the booster but wouldn't it be even more historic if they launched and recovered it again?

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