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SpaceX Achieves Controlled Landing of Falcon 9 First Stage - First Reusable Rocket Success!

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posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 11:39 AM
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Great news for private space company SpaceX!

The first reuseable rocket has demonstrated it's capability yesterday by returning to earth under power. The next launch is scheduled for May and will also return over the ocean but, perhaps within the year will be ready for a terrestrial touchdown.

"But the future that we lost is still someplace out there
Orion still rides hellfire toward the blue,
And rockets proudly land upon their tailfins,
As God and Robert Heinlein meant them to."
Steve Savitzky

SpaceX achieves controlled landing of Falcon 9 first stage

I watched the webcast yesterday and I can''t seem to find the video of the launch but, here is a recent test flight.
SpaceX Webcast



SpaceX says it made two key strides toward the eventual reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket this week with the controlled splashdown of the rocket's first stage in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday and the successful first flight of a booster prototype from the company's Central Texas test facility.

The California-based space transportation company, founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, has tried to retrieve rocket stages after several launches, initially trying a parachute-assisted recovery before switching to a concept involving a propulsive soft touchdown on a landing pad.






The first stage's sporty descent maneuvers occurred as the Falcon 9 rocket's upper stage continued into orbit with a Dragon supply ship heading for the International Space Station.


"We're really excited to connect the dots of what's needed [for reusability]," Musk said. "When you combine this with Falcon 9R ... there are just only a few more steps that need to be there to have it all work, and I think we've got a decent chance of bringing a stage back this year, which would be wonderful."

"The reuse must be both rapid and complete, like an aircraft or a car," Musk said. "If you have to disassemble and reassemble a car and change a bunch of parts in between driving it, it would make it quite expensive.

According to Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX's vice president of mission assurance, the next Falcon 9 launch scheduled for May will also try for a water recovery.

"We don't have to just recover it," Musk said. "We have to show that it can be reflown quickly and easily, where the only thing you [have to do] is reload propellant."



Eventually, SpaceX plans to clad the rocket's single-engine upper stage with a heat shield with an eye toward reusing it as well. The company has not disclosed a timetable for a potential recovery of the second stage.

edit on 20-4-2014 by greencmp because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 11:46 AM
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We live in amazing times.

I watched it all live,

It would take a Private Company to come up with a sensible less expensive way of rocket launches, instead of disposable million dollar engines...

Space, Science, education, thats where we should be focusing our resources.



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 11:50 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

Oh, good. As soon as its able we can explore space--- I mean the space station some more with it.



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 12:01 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: greencmp

Oh, good. As soon as its able we can explore space--- I mean the space station some more with it.


A reliable, reusable rocket engine is a historic milestone.

I have no doubt one day the Dragon will be in a museum, next to the Wright flyer, and Apollo lander as milestones in human advancement.

If we had one at the time of the ISS being built it would of cut the cost of construction significantly, the Dragon Rocket maybe what builds the next manned exploration vessel at some point.

Might be a key component to getting to mars.



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: benrl


I agree benryl. It could be the future of low cost space flight.
The future is a marvelous place. Cant wait to live it.



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 12:17 PM
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a reply to: benrl

I know a position of waste in space is less than popular here.


I have no doubt one day the Dragon will be in a museum, next to the Wright flyer, and Apollo lander as milestones in human advancement.

Oh yah, well I have no doubt that one day all those museums will be turned to ash from the nukes atop those very same "reusable" rocket motors…

Some "milestone".

Done here.



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 12:23 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

Your blithe dismissal of a universally positive development in space technology is quite telling.


edit on 20-4-2014 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 12:48 PM
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a reply to: intrptr


Oh yah, well I have no doubt that one day all those museums will be turned to ash from the nukes atop those very same "reusable" rocket motors…

SpaceX isn't involved with this. The US has plenty of ICBMs already and manufacturers in place to support them.


Done here.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 01:19 PM
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It was not a landing; rather a splashdown (on water).. in terms of CRS-3

However its building up to a landing.. as they had to do a lot of the same sorts of things that a landing would require, (engine restart, propulsive breaking; launching with the legs on)

The also have a new video up on a test-vehicle;
youtu.be...

It's really incredible what intelligent partnerships between public and private sectors can achieve. This sort of thing is what allowed aviation to advance in the 1920's and 1930's, (through the "Air Mail Act Of 1925"; which basically helped to stimulate a market for aircraft).

Space until recently, has been the domain mostly of defense-contractor-style projects, projects that tend to not be focused on fufilling market demand, but rather fufilling specifications set by government. This works fine to meet a national security need, but military aircraft are anything but cost-effective. The same or similar could be said of spacecraft.

SpaceX is by no means operating in a free market; don't fall to that misconception, it's gotten a lot of funding from the government, its used government research (the heatshield on the dragon [PICA-X]is a derrivative of a material NASA researched/developed [PICA]).
edit on 20-4-2014 by NonsensicalUserName because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 01:50 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: benrl

I know a position of waste in space is less than popular here.


I have no doubt one day the Dragon will be in a museum, next to the Wright flyer, and Apollo lander as milestones in human advancement.

Oh yah, well I have no doubt that one day all those museums will be turned to ash from the nukes atop those very same "reusable" rocket motors…

Some "milestone".

Done here.



I always love when a reactionary Luddite derides science advancement, while typing on a the pinnacle of human science achievement that is the height of human engineering, physics, massive amounts of knowledge and man power that went in to it,

all for you to type that drivel.

Astounding.

Go live in a cave and wait for the fall out if your so sure.



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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originally posted by: NonsensicalUserName
It was not a landing; rather a splashdown (on water).. in terms of CRS-3

However its building up to a landing.. as they had to do a lot of the same sorts of things that a landing would require, (engine restart, propulsive breaking; launching with the legs on)

The also have a new video up on a test-vehicle;
youtu.be...

It's really incredible what intelligent partnerships between public and private sectors can achieve. This sort of thing is what allowed aviation to advance in the 1920's and 1930's, (through the "Air Mail Act Of 1925"; which basically helped to stimulate a market for aircraft).

Space until recently, has been the domain mostly of defense-contractor-style projects, projects that tend to not be focused on fufilling market demand, but rather fufilling specifications set by government. This works fine to meet a national security need, but military aircraft are anything but cost-effective. The same or similar could be said of spacecraft.

SpaceX is by no means operating in a free market; don't fall to that misconception, it's gotten a lot of funding from the government, its used government research (the heatshield on the dragon [PICA-X]is a derrivative of a material NASA researched/developed [PICA]).


Being that they are one of the first private space companies, I cannot deny that all of their clients are governments for now.



However its building up to a landing.. as they had to do a lot of the same sorts of things that a landing would require, (engine restart, propulsive breaking; launching with the legs on)


The first stage really did make a controlled landing under power, just not onto dirt yet. You probably meant that but, the comment made it sound like it splashed down like a conventional spent rocket booster in free fall.



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 05:31 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp


Being that they are one of the first private space companies, I cannot deny that all of their clients are governments for now.



I really think that is the way to go, and with proper stewardship, government and private working together can make a good team.
When you look back at the Apollo stuff, there is absolutely no way that anything like the Moon landers used, will be regurgitated, even though they worked perfectly. The 60's "white heat of technology" was fecking dangerous.
I think the more measured approaches to technology nowadays is far more the intelligent way.
SpaceX seems to be doing things cautiously enough, and seem to be well on the way to making things work, but it sure is still a messy way of getting around a problem, a bit 60's if you like

The technical achievement of bringing a rocket back to ground on its backside is great and it could well be, probably will be, a success with modern technology, but is there not a better way to do things? a quantum leap perhaps into other ways of reaching orbit, without all the whizz bangs.
Thing is, my guess, and that's only a guess, is that someone is working on just that cheap energy, maybe a pushing force from the ground, rather than a pushing force against the ground.



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 05:40 PM
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a reply to: smurfy

I hear you, I too am waiting for the pulsed laser ablation platform and the space elevator.

Non-rocket launch systems



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 05:49 PM
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Personally...

If it's come down to private company's competing and having a space race we truly are [SNIPPED]

It should be a joint international effort

To my knowledge only the Chinese have proposed this, probably the best thing I've ever heard come out of china tbh, but I happen to agree

We need to wake up a realise our destiny is the same, and the survival of our species depends upon it

Screw this rocket, and screw rocket tech as a viable means of taking us past the moon, what a joke 60yr old tech being used on a smaller scale I don't know whether to laugh or cry



edit on 20-4-2014 by TritonTaranis because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 06:00 PM
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a reply to: TritonTaranis

It's funny how economic and political attitudes can shape what are presumably otherwise consistent outlooks.

For me, the preference of a government program over a private service is only ever justified to fulfill the duties and responsibilities that we cannot entrust to the private sector. Very few of our government programs pass that litmus test.



posted on Apr, 20 2014 @ 06:49 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: TritonTaranis

It's funny how economic and political attitudes can shape what are presumably otherwise consistent outlooks.

For me, the preference of a government program over a private service is only ever justified to fulfill the duties and responsibilities that we cannot entrust to the private sector. Very few of our government programs pass that litmus test.


Very much so, it's the bean counters putting on the poor mouth all the time, the military wanting the big bang tomorrow and eating up the bucks, and subverting great human achievements to do bad.



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