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posted by martyb on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:54AM   Printer-friendly
from the way-to-go! dept.

Falcon 9 Stage 1 successful landing

I just watched the live stream at http://www.spacex.com/, and they did it! Elon is the man!

SpaceX Succeeds in Landing Booster

SpaceX has successfully launched their upgraded Falcon-9 rocket, returned and successfully landed the booster stage (on land!), and deployed a constellation of 11 Orbcomm satellites.

SpaceX Just Landed a Rocket for the First Time

Wired is reporting that SpaceX Just Landed a Rocket for the First Time:

They stuck the landing! For the first time ever, SpaceX has landed a booster after sending its payload into orbit—on the ground.

Over the past year, SpaceX has tried and failed to land the first-stage booster of its Falcon 9 rocket twice on a drone barge in the ocean. (And on its third try, the rocket blew up on launch, which, yeah.) This time, SpaceX managed to land its rocket on a landing pad on Cape Canaveral, Florida. Being able to reuse the booster could help cut launch costs in the future.

Also, SpaceX's YouTube channel posted a 56-minute video: "ORBCOMM-2 Full Launch Webcast by SpaceX".

SpaceX Stage 1 Booster Landed Successfully

Elon Musk's SpaceX not only blasted 11 satellites to orbit on Monday, but also brought its towering first-stage booster back down, with a historic landing at a pad at Cape Canaveral, Fla.

It was the company's first launch since its rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station exploded on June 28.

The full video is available http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-return-to-flight-20151221-story.html

The launch is at about 32 minutes in, and the booster lands at about 42 minutes.


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission 3

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  • (Score: 5, Touché) by Thexalon on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:02AM

    by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:02AM (#279545)

    Werner von Braun successfully landed rockets in London a few times back in the 1940's. The thing that's changed with this is that the rocket didn't wreck either itself or what it landed on.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by davester666 on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:20AM

      by davester666 (155) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:20AM (#279581)

      He did it without the necessary permits in the U.K., therefore it doesn't count.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:43AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:43AM (#279613) Journal

        That's one of the things I like about you, Davester. You have a warped sense of humor. ;^)

        --
        We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @06:21AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @06:21AM (#279631)

      You mean, like how terrorists "landed" planes into the twin towers? Not funny :-/

    • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:44PM

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:44PM (#279765)

      These were not landing you could walk away from. Whether you were on the rocket or on the ground.

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Gravis on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:20AM

    by Gravis (4596) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:20AM (#279553)

    wikipedia:

    In May 2015, United Launch Alliance (a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security) stated that it would go out of business unless it won commercial and civil satellite launch orders to offset an expected slump in U.S. military and spy launches.

    fuck them. fuck them up their stupid assess.

    • (Score: 1) by eravnrekaree on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:06AM

      by eravnrekaree (555) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:06AM (#279597)

      Delta and Atlas V have been very reliable but expensive launch platforms, mainly used for military purposes nowadays. I wouldnt knock it, a lot of hard work and care has gone into it despite the high cost. SpaceX has had some quality control issues with the struct, something that should have been caught with routine quality control procedures. I do wish them the best and hope that they can can slash the cost of space while being reliable (especially for human flight).

      • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Tuesday December 22 2015, @06:05AM

        by Gravis (4596) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @06:05AM (#279624)

        I wouldnt knock it, a lot of hard work and care has gone into it despite the high cost.

        umm... you do know that they don't even make the engines, right?

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by eravnrekaree on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:01PM

          by eravnrekaree (555) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:01PM (#279715)

          They do for the Delta II, Delta IV and the next version of the Atlas.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gravis on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:51PM

            by Gravis (4596) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:51PM (#279769)

            there isn't going to be a "next version of the Atlas."

  • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:31AM

    by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:31AM (#279559)
    n/t
    --
    🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by takyon on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:38AM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:38AM (#279561) Journal

    Elon Musk > Steve Jobs

    Steve Jobs gave us fancy surveillance slabs. Elon Musk is giving us electric cars, reusable rockets, solar homes, Hyperloop.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:31AM (#279588)

      congratulations elon

      no wait... aren't engineers supposed to be terrorists!?

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:45AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:45AM (#279614) Journal

        It takes time to become a successful terrorist. Those damned Martians are quaking in fear, as they watch Elon's preparations for attacking Mars.

        --
        We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
        • (Score: 2) by e_armadillo on Tuesday December 22 2015, @07:24AM

          by e_armadillo (3695) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @07:24AM (#279646)

          Well, the Martian residents near the polar ice caps better be worried, anyway!

          --
          "How are we gonna get out of here?" ... "We'll dig our way out!" ... "No, no, dig UP stupid!"
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by DECbot on Tuesday December 22 2015, @06:08AM

        by DECbot (832) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @06:08AM (#279626) Journal

        Hold on.... Let me check the meme table in the Engineering's Handbook....
        Ah!
        Here it is. Engineer.... by terrorist.... Hmm... Okay

        Any engineering activity preformed by persons with a skin tone darker than 4 on the Tambian skin tone chart without government license and oversight by a manager of a skin tone value of 3. Violations are referenced as "engineering while brown."

        Computer engineering, programming, coding, exploration, or research performed by individuals of any skin tone color as defined by the Tambian skin tone chart while not on payroll of a domestic government position, fortune 500 company, government subcontractor, or government vendor. Exceptions are made for web designers that primarily use Apple devices and Adobe products.

        ....aaaaaannd its time to buy a Mac and bleach my skin.... Can't be too careful. Is coldfusion still in vogue?

        --
        cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:09AM (#279600)

      GROUPTHINK FUCK YEAH!

      Btw, Mr. Musk is from South Africa, and half of SpaceX came from around the world.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @09:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @09:53PM (#279947)

      Well, Musk better not get too popular too fast because you guys will drop him like yesterday's news because it won't be cool to like him anymore (too "mainstream"). Just like what happened to Jobs...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:02AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:02AM (#279571)

    Now repeat this a few dozen more times before anyone sane can consider this anything more than a one time fluke.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by No Respect on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:04AM

    by No Respect (991) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:04AM (#279573)

    From 50 miles south of the Cape I was surprised to see most of the ascent pretty clearly through intervening layers of thin clouds. Then as I was walking back to the house, a friend pulled up and parked on the street. We were both headed for the front door when my friend yelled, "What the hell is that?" while pointing up over the roof. It was the booster coming back for its landing attempt! Never expected to see that because the clouds had been moving in thicker and I figured only a few of the 9 first stage engines would be used to land the thing and questioned how visible they would be from such a large distance away. But it was clearly visible and an amazing sight.

    Hearty congratulations to Elon Musk and his teams who pulled this off.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by gman003 on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:23AM

      by gman003 (4155) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:23AM (#279583)

      FYI, the Falcon 9 uses three of its nine engines for the flyback burn, reentry, and landing (I've heard conflicting reports - some say it uses only one engine for landing, but most sources say three). With most of the propellant burned off, and no payload, it really doesn't need much power to make it move.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by VLM on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:09PM

        by VLM (445) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:09PM (#279719)

        FYI, the Falcon 9 uses three of its nine engines for the flyback burn, reentry, and landing (I've heard conflicting reports - some say it uses only one engine for landing, but most sources say three).

        All of the above

        http://space.stackexchange.com/questions/6679/how-will-spacex-achieve-landing-of-the-falcon-9-first-stage [stackexchange.com]

        The TLDR is there's four situations

        The first burn slows it down, uses three engines

        The second burn slows the fall a bit and helps with stability, uses three engines

        The landing uses one engine

        The fourth issue is the grasshopper was a first stage with one engine installed and a load of sandbags or whatever for testing, so everyone assumes the landing only takes one engine because grasshopper only had one engine.

      • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:22PM

        by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:22PM (#279723) Journal

        Interesting points. I can only add what amounts to a kind of (old) hearsay from other people who is thinking about this sort of thing: their numbers for powered return/landing were about 5% either of total fuel or additional fuel required, not sure which. That's just a rough estimate taken slightly out of context (different launch vehicle, possibly back of the envelope calculations). The number is probably different for the Falcon 9 but I would guess it shouldn't be off by all that much. The SpaceX details might be out there, I haven't caught up with the news yet (or the people at aRocket, they might have a discussion going on about this).

        It can be deceptive; in one way it's not much but in another way it's quite a lot, the saving grace is that those 5% are only lifted to the staging point but that's still a bigger penalty than what 5% (or any percent) seems like at first (I don't know if the 5% figure included those hidden costs or not, it might have).

        Congratulations SpaceX :)

        --
        Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
    • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:38AM

      by opinionated_science (4031) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:38AM (#279591)

      a buddy of mine and I were almost on a flight down there....maybe next time!!!

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by BrockDockdale on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:17AM

    by BrockDockdale (5983) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:17AM (#279578)

    Well, for one thing, these people are louder-cheering and more self-congratulatory.

    Call me a troll and a crank for preferring the days when "we all," i.e. the nation, and not some private obscenely-wealthy citizen, were the ones launching rockets.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:34AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:34AM (#279590)

      they did it without sinking the taxpayer further in debt

      that does deserve at least some congratulations

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by urza9814 on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:50PM

        by urza9814 (3954) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:50PM (#279800) Journal

        they did it without sinking the taxpayer further in debt

        Well...except the launches that were contracted by NASA and other government agencies... :)

        Besides, isn't NASA one of the only government departments that actually has some revenue? (Selling tech, deploying satellites, etc)

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by frojack on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:41AM

      by frojack (1554) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:41AM (#279611) Journal

      And watching the video, it appears everybody wants to hug the blond lady.
      She must be an astounding engineer.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Yog-Yogguth on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:36PM

        by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:36PM (#279732) Journal

        Haven't seen the video yet but the blond lady might be Gwynne Shotwell [wikipedia.org] the President & COO of SpaceX (from Wikipedia: Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics), i.e. "Chief Astounding Engineer" :D

        --
        Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mrchew1982 on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:48AM

      by mrchew1982 (3565) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:48AM (#279615)

      OK, for the record NASA has never machined nor assembled a rocket in their entire history. Everything NASA has accomplished has been done by for profit subcontractors. I don't know why you think that NASA launching a rocket built by Thiokol/Boeing/Lockheed is a greater accomplishment, seems the same to me. The fact that tax dollars weren't used is actually better in my eyes.

      I also fail to see how a private company offering cheaper flights to space is a bad thing. They still have plenty of government oversight, and even work for NASA sometimes. They will be performing the same resupply mission as Boeing for almost half the cost. That's a win in my book.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by BrockDockdale on Tuesday December 22 2015, @06:49PM

        by BrockDockdale (5983) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @06:49PM (#279874)

        OK so, I didn't say which accomplishments were great or which things were good or bad. You're painting the world in black and white, which is inherently boring to me. What I said was that in Ye Olden Days, when tax dollars WERE being used, it was more OUR accomplishment. Your, my, accomplishment. You've heard it said, if you're not paying, you're not a customer? This is frequently said of Facebook and it also applies to healthcare (where your insurance company is actually the customer) and to this. Paying into something gives you ownership. Those tax dollars, my dollars, entitled me to share in the sense of pride and ownership. Yes it was tenuous but it was something. Whereas now, well, Musk and friends own this whole project, and they could take their toys and go home if they like. Not that Musk ever would, because he's dying for the attention. So, good for him, but remember that it's exactly that -- good for him.

        For me there isn't any inherent reason to care deeply about what a stranger accomplishes with his money. Yes it's a historic and technical first. So maybe that merits, I dunno, clicking "Like" on his page and moving on. (If I hadn't quit Facebook years ago.) Or maybe reading about it on Wikipedia and being like "hmm" (mildy impressed) and moving on. But there are no tears in the eye, no swelling of pride in the chest. And certainly no jumping the fuck up and down. There's a level of detachment here, an emptiness, that you probably wouldn't notice unless you were old enough to remember when there WAS a public sector for the corporations that now dominate it, to take over. People chanting USA! USA! are only coincidentally correct, since geographically it did take place there, and that's also where Silicon Valley is located and how, under American capitalism, Musk and friends managed to extract and concentrate the wealth needed to make this possible. Is it a giant leap for mankind etc.? USA? USA? It feels more like one guy walking on the backs of millions of people and taking a giant leap for himself. And then a bunch of suckers who think they're part of it, jumping up and down for the camera.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:52AM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 22 2015, @05:52AM (#279617) Journal

      Over the decades, I've written a number of letters to legislators complaining that they don't properly fund NASA. And, I've complained directly to NASA for putting all their efforts into those stupid space jeeps. I guess that most Americans just didn't care enough, and/or didn't understand that the shuttles were basically a waste of time. If fifty million or more Americans had written a letter every time that I wrote a letter, maybe things would be different today.

      Or not. Beauracrats often do whatever the hell they want to do, despite public opinion.

      Space jeeps. A whole fleet of space jeeps, with no higher goals in sight. What a freaking waste.

      --
      We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
    • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:51PM

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @03:51PM (#279768)

      How dare someone feel pride for a job well done.

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by DoraLives on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:02PM

    by DoraLives (3883) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:02PM (#279716)

    Watched Shepard go up as a child. Watched Glenn. Apollo 11. Hell, I've watched everything.

    This one's right up there with those.

    From the very beginning, this one astounded.

    The flight profile was like no other shot I've ever witnessed.

    In essence, he went straight up.

    With "normal" launches, the bird goes up, heels over, and then arcs downrange without ever getting anywhere near the top of the sky, anywhere near the zenith.

    Not this one.

    I found myself staring in disbelief nearly straight up, wondering if range safety was going to hit the button owing to the very off-nominal trajectory I was witnessing.

    Nope.

    All was well, and MECO came and went, the second stage lit, and still it refused to heel over and move toward the horizon.

    The return sequence was just indescribable. I shall blame that on eyes that have for six decades grown familiar with what ought to be happening.

    Fuck it. I'm not going to even try.

    Down at the water's edge, in the dark, alone, screaming my lungs out at what was unfolding right there in front of me.

    And once it was down, and the fires were quenched, walking, stunned, back toward 4th Street North on the sand, the exceptionally loud double thunderclap of the sonic boom took me completely by surprise, and was the most fitting end possible to one of the most amazing nights of my entire, long, life.

    My humble efforts with a camera, trying to shoot things no camera was meant to capture, with dynamic ranges completely off the scale, hand-held telephoto at far-too-long exposures, can be found here [16streets.com].

    These shots will remain until the surf gets good once again, and the way things have been going, that might be a full week or more (this is, after all, Florida, and Florida is known the world around for the crummyness of its waves), after which time they will be replaced. Enjoy them if you may, but enjoy more this moment of triumph in rocketeering.

    --
    Is it fascism yet?
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Yog-Yogguth on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:52PM

      by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:52PM (#279746) Journal

      Yours is a +5 Awesome comment, thank you for writing it!

      Have a look at the landing picture currently on the SpaceX front page [spacex.com], it's like the future suddenly arrived (page might require JavaScript permissions/NoScript exceptions).

      Would be nice to see "proper" tail-landing spaceships on the Moon before I die :) (yeah I know it won't be a Falcon 9 1st stage —an Earth launch vehicle is a different beast— but it would look eerily similar).

      --
      Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:04PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @04:04PM (#279777)

        Well, the LEM was tail landing. :) But I know what you mean about "proper". Single stage from lunar orbit, landing, and lunar liftoff. With that you might also be able to do a single stage from that to Earth-return trajectory, it doesn't take that much fuel to come back unless you are in a big hurry.

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by goodie on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:48PM

    by goodie (1877) on Tuesday December 22 2015, @02:48PM (#279741) Journal

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCBE8ocOkAQ&feature=youtu.be [youtube.com]

    Pretty amazing. I always thought a rocket was the most unnatural thing to get to land. Glad to be proved wrong :D
    This is pretty epic!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @11:58PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22 2015, @11:58PM (#279985)

    Second place is just another name for the first loser.