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posted by martyb on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:10PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the it-IS-rocket-science dept.

Update: Launch seems to have been successful. The two side boosters landed nearly simultaneously. Footage from the drone ship was cut off. The car made it into space; but the third stage will need to coast through the Van Allen radiation belts for around six hours before it makes the final burn for trans-Mars injection.

Update 2: The middle booster of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket failed to land on its drone ship
Falcon Heavy Post-Launch Media Briefing - Megathread

SpaceX's newest rocket, the Falcon Heavy, is set to be launched at around 1:30 PM EST (6:30 PM UTC) today. The launch window extends to 4:00 PM EST (9:00 PM UTC).

SpaceX will attempt to recover all three boosters during the launch. The two previously-flown side boosters will attempt to land nearly simultaneously at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Landing Zones 1 and 2. The center core will attempt to land on a drone barge hundreds of miles off the coast of Florida.

The dummy payload for the Falcon Heavy is Elon Musk's personal 2008 Tesla Roadster. It is carrying a mannequin wearing SpaceX's space suit flight suit that will be used when the company begins to send astronauts to the International Space Station. The car will be launched into a heliocentric orbit that will bring it close to Mars (and back near Earth) periodically, and is equipped with three cameras. Its stereo system will be playing David Bowie's Space Oddity.

If the launch is successful, the Falcon Heavy could be flown within the next 3 to 6 months for a customer such as the U.S. Air Force, Arabsat, Inmarsat, or ViaSat.

Falcon Heavy will be capable of launching 63,800 kg to low-Earth orbit (LEO), 26,700 kg to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), 16,800 kg to Mars, or 3,500 kg to Pluto (New Horizons was 478 kg). It will supplant the Delta IV Heavy, which is capable of launching 28,790 kg to LEO or 14,220 kg to GTO. Space Launch System Block 1 will be capable of launching 70,000 kg to LEO (Block 1B: 105,000 kg to LEO, Block 2: 130,000 kg to LEO).

Musk has suggested that an additional two side boosters could be added to Falcon Heavy (perpendicularly?) to make a "Falcon Super Heavy" with even more thrust. This may not happen if SpaceX decides to focus on the BFR instead, which as planned would be able to launch 150,000 kg to LEO while being fully reusable and potentially cheaper than the Falcon 9 (or capable of launching 250,000 kg to LEO in expendable mode).

The webcast can be seen here or directly on YouTube.


Original Submission

Related Stories

SpaceX Picks Up New Customers for the Falcon Heavy 18 comments

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket seems to be a hit with satellite companies

When the Falcon Heavy rocket launched for the first time in February, some critics of the company wondered what exactly the rocket's purpose was. After all, the company's Falcon 9 rocket had become powerful enough that it could satisfy the needs of most commercial customers. One such critic even told me, "The Falcon Heavy is just a vanity project for Elon Musk."

[...] Last week, the Swedish satellite company Ovzon signed a deal for a Falcon Heavy launch as early as late 2020 for a geostationary satellite mission. And just on Thursday, ViaSat announced that it, too, had chosen the Falcon Heavy to launch one of its future ViaSat-3 satellite missions in the 2020 to 2022 timeframe.

[...] In explaining their rocket choice, both Ovzon and ViaSat cited the ability of the Falcon Heavy to deliver heavy payloads "direct"—or almost directly—to geostationary orbit, an altitude nearly 36,000km above the Earth's surface. Typically, rockets launching payloads bound for geostationary orbit drop their satellites into a "transfer" orbit, from which the satellite itself must spend time and propellant to reach the higher orbit. (More on these orbits can be found here).

[...] The demonstration flight of the Falcon Heavy apparently convinced not only the military of the rocket's direct-to-geo capability but satellite fleet operators as well. The Falcon Heavy rocket now seems nicely positioned to offer satellite companies relatively low-cost access to orbits they desire, with a minimum of time spent getting there in space.

See also: SpaceX heading to two to four Falcon Heavy paid launches per year

Related: How to Get Back to the Moon in 4 Years, Permanently
Falcon Heavy Maiden Launch Successful (Mostly)
SpaceX Confirms it Lost the Center Core of the Falcon Heavy
After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System?
NASA's Chief of Human Spaceflight Rules Out Use of Falcon Heavy for Lunar Station
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Could Launch Japanese and European Payloads to Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway


Original Submission

SpaceX Confirms it Lost the Center Core of the Falcon Heavy 17 comments

SpaceX pulled off quite the feat today when it launched the Falcon Heavy rocket. What's more, it landed the two flanking boosters in perfect synchronized formation. But the fate of the core booster was unclear; now it appears that the center booster, which was supposed to land on a drone ship, was lost.

Elon Musk said on a conference call with reporters that the launch "seems to have gone as well as one could have hoped with the exception of center core. The center core obviously didn't land on the drone ship" and he said that "we're looking at the issue."

Source: Engadget

Elon has stated during the post launch Press Conference (aired live by ABC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cygUnhAGdWc ) that the center core ran out of TEA-TEB ignition fluids. These are used to restart the Merlin 1D engines in flight. The central engine relit, but the outer two failed to reignite. The resultant loss of thrust cause the center core to hit the water at 300mph/500kph and explode. Elon reports two drone ship thrusters on OCISLY were damaged or destroyed.

Source: Reddit.

TEA-TEB is a reference to triethylaluminium-triethylborane.

takyon: Instead of becoming an Earth-Mars cycler, it appears that the car has overshot its intended orbit and will reach far into the asteroid belt:

Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster, which launched on top of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy earlier today, is going farther out into the Solar System than originally planned. The car was supposed to be put on a path around the Sun that would take the vehicle out to the distance of Mars' orbit. But the rocket carrying the car seems to have overshot that trajectory and has put the Tesla in an orbit that extends out into the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. [...] SpaceX CEO Musk tweeted out a map of the Roadster's final orbit after the burn, showing just how far out the car will travel. And it looks like it's going so far into the asteroid belt that it will get relatively close to the orbit of the dwarf planet Ceres.

Previously: Falcon Heavy Maiden Launch Successful (Mostly)


Original Submission

Two Soyuz Launches and a Falcon Heavy Launch Coming Right Up 4 comments

Two Soyuz flights are scheduled for Thursday April 4 and the second flight ever of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy is planned for April 7.

The Soyuz flights will take off from two different locations. The first, which is scheduled for 11:01:35 UTC (07:01:35 EDT), is of a Soyuz-2.1a from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. According to SpaceFlightNow, it carries "several tons of fuel, food and supplies for the space station and its six-person crew."

The second Soyuz flight (of a Soyuz 2-1b) is scheduled for a 16:30:37 UTC (12:30:37 EDT) launch from the Guiana Space Center on the northeast coast of South America. It carries four broadband satellites for O3b Networks "which provides broadband service to developing countries."

The Falcon Heavy (FH) has flown only once before (on February 6, 2018) when it sent Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster into an orbit that extended past Mars' orbit. The FH is comprised of 3 SpaceX Block 5 cores, each of which has 9 Merlin engines.

The upcoming Falcon Heavy launch is scheduled for April 7th/8th (launch window: 22:36-00:35 UTC). That works out to 18:36-20:35 EDT on April 7th. The flight "will launch the Arabsat 6A communications satellite for Arabsat of Saudi Arabia. Arabsat 6A will provide Ku-band and Ka-band communications coverage over the Middle East and North Africa regions, as well as a footprint in South Africa." (Information taken from SpaceFlightNow's Launch Schedule.)

SpaceX launches are typically live-streamed on YouTube. Check SpaceX's Channel for more info.


Original Submission

SpaceX Reveals its "Spacesuit" 12 comments

Elon Musk has unveiled the spacesuit (or flight suit) that will be used by astronauts aboard crewed Dragon flights:

In his Instagram post, Musk added that this suit was not a mock-up but rather a fully functional unit. "Already tested to double vacuum pressure," he wrote. "Was incredibly hard to balance aesthetics and function. Easy to do either separately." (Double vacuum pressure simply means the suit was probably inflated to twice the pressure of sea level and then put into a vacuum chamber.)

Musk gave no other technical information about the suit. Most strikingly, it is white, in contrast to the very blue spacesuits unveiled by Boeing in January.

These are not, strictly speaking, "space suits." Rather, they are more properly flight suits designed to be worn during the ride to space and again on the ride back down to Earth. They have a limited time in which they can operate in a full vacuum and are not intended for spacewalks.

Related: Boeing Unveils New Spacesuits for Starliner Astronaut Taxi


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @01:38PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @01:38PM (#633796)

    Why send boring concrete when you can send a car! I love it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:02PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:02PM (#633809)

      Yeah, if you've got F-you money like Musk, why not do it occasionally.

      Assuming the cameras and stereo are running off the original Roadster battery pack, how long will they stay on?

      • (Score: 5, Funny) by DannyB on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:43PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:43PM (#633832) Journal

        In space, no one can hear your car stereo.

        --
        While in an airport, never use the word "balm".
      • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Wednesday February 07 2018, @05:29PM

        by moondrake (2658) on Wednesday February 07 2018, @05:29PM (#634443)

        I think I heard him say "about 12 hours" in the press conference.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @05:43PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @05:43PM (#633978)

      I would have sent a Yugo.

      • (Score: 5, Funny) by bob_super on Tuesday February 06 2018, @05:48PM (1 child)

        by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @05:48PM (#633981)

        Should Aliens encounter the car is the middle of nowhere, would you like them to think we have decent taste, or is it preferable to have the plausible deniability that we wouldn't target them with such an ugly thing as a Yugo?
        There are tradeoffs, for sure.
        Musk chose to have the fun of claiming his company built the fastest car anywhere.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:36PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:36PM (#634082)

          A somewhat more creative dilemma would be do we launch a life size statue of jar jar binks, or a really nicely painted army of warhammer 40K minis?

          Whats a bigger war crime, "It would be a shame if our Necron army awoke on your planet..." vs "let me give you the good news of our lord and savior jar jar binks" I would definitely drive my car to Mars orbit to avoid that trial, either way.

      • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:21PM

        by Osamabobama (5842) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:21PM (#634135)

        Yugos are not safe!
        (Granted, it's an unmanned mission, but it's best to start off with a good safety culture.)

        --
        Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
    • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday February 06 2018, @07:15PM

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @07:15PM (#634042)

      Though he could send Boring [boringcompany.com] concrete if he wanted to.

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by richtopia on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:23PM (1 child)

      by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:23PM (#634072) Homepage Journal

      Watch out: the documentary Heavy Metal prophesized a Corvette bringing the evil Loc-Nar to earth:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Metal_(film) [wikipedia.org]

      https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fhistoriasdelmetaverso.files.wordpress.com%2F2013%2F03%2Fheavy1.jpg&f=1 [duckduckgo.com]

      • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:25PM

        by fyngyrz (6567) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:25PM (#634101) Journal

        it's perfectly clear it's already here. Stock market dropped 666 points the other day.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Tuesday February 06 2018, @01:42PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday February 06 2018, @01:42PM (#633800) Journal

    The Verge says the Falcon Heavy launch to carry two paying customers around the Moon is likely cancelled in favor of using the BFR. They're not too clear about it though. Does the rocket even need to get approved for human spaceflight in the case of private passengers?

    SpaceX will demonstrate a new direct-to-GEO [wikipedia.org] capability for the USAF with this launch:

    In case you haven’t heard, there’s an original Tesla Roadster sitting atop the Falcon Heavy [theverge.com]. As long as the rocket doesn’t explode, the Roadster will be sent on a wide orbit around Mars [theverge.com]. Musk revealed a new wrinkle in this plan on the call: Instead of separating the car from the rocket’s third stage shortly after leaving Earth’s atmosphere, the third stage (and the car aboard it) will instead enter a six-hour “coast” through the Van Allen radiation belts.

    The goal is to demonstrate a new capability to the Air Force and other potential military customers [twitter.com]. But it comes with some risk. “[The rocket stage is] going to experience a lot of radioactivity and high energy particles. It’s going to get whacked pretty hard,” Musk said. “The fuel could freeze, and the oxygen could be [vaporized], all of which could inhibit the third burn which is necessary for [the Tesla’s] trans-Mars injection.” If something goes wrong during this time, the rocket stage — and the Roadster — might never fully escape Earth orbit, and would instead eventually burn up in our atmosphere.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @01:49PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @01:49PM (#633804)

    is a nice name for a rocket

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:13PM (5 children)

      by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:13PM (#633814) Journal

      Yeah, those guys rocked hard back in the 70s. The only surviving member, Jethro Scudbucket, is still touring at the age of 76 and, since his hip replacement surgery in 2015, has even resumed his legendary "self-immolation stage dive" stunt at every gig.

      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:18PM (4 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:18PM (#634132)

        They were awesome! Their amps went to 12!

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday February 06 2018, @11:34PM (3 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @11:34PM (#634180) Journal
          Reminds me of a criteria for the quality of the engineer. A client wants you to take their sound system to 11. The mediocre engineer just does it by changing the markings on the sound dial as demanded. The good engineer explains to the client why a dial going to 11 doesn't make the sound system any louder. And the great engineer? "For $3000, I can take your dial to 12."
          • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday February 07 2018, @04:43AM

            by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday February 07 2018, @04:43AM (#634293)

            "For $3000, I can take your dial to 12."

            That and I'll sell you oxygen-free cable too. Because it sounds better.

            BTW, there are guitar amp brands that go to 11 and 12. Kind of like launching your beautiful red roadster into solar orbit. Because why not.

          • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Wednesday February 07 2018, @09:17AM (1 child)

            by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 07 2018, @09:17AM (#634341)
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday February 07 2018, @11:16AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 07 2018, @11:16AM (#634367) Journal
              Interesting. I thought I had read the quip on SN so I didn't think to look for it elsewhere. Of course, I didn't find it.
  • (Score: 2) by Virindi on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:05PM (4 children)

    by Virindi (3484) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:05PM (#633811)

    Its stereo system will be playing David Bowie's Space Oddity.

    I don't think it will actually be able to play anything if it is not pressurized :)

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:12PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:12PM (#633813) Journal

      You could probably hear it if you put your ear directly on the car. But you would freeze.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:20PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:20PM (#633819) Journal

        if you put your ear directly on the car. But you would freeze.

        No, not exactly. Only the ear will.

        (retiring to sleep quarters, not before nodding in recognition to Vincent)

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday February 06 2018, @06:47PM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Tuesday February 06 2018, @06:47PM (#634015) Homepage
      But I think they're playing the wrong song. Surely it should be /Radar Rider/? http://youtube.com/watch?v=DWMPe3wF9jQ

      (And yes, I know I suggested Don Felder's /Takin' a Ride/ the other day, but that's because it's a way better song - it's the visuals that are a better match this time.)
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:17PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:17PM (#634978)

      Why not? There's no claim that anybody can actually hear it.

      Unless the audio system hardware relies on being in an atmosphere to function somehow.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by c0lo on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:15PM (7 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:15PM (#633815) Journal

    Comparison term - ISS mass in 2016: 419,725 kg [nasa.gov] - so 3 LEO trips with the same rocket will be enough to put an ISS-worth of mass on LEO.
    Took ISS 13 years (between 1998 and 2011).

    This may not happen if SpaceX decides to focus on the BFR instead, which as planned would be able to launch 150,000 kg to LEO while being fully reusable and potentially cheaper than the Falcon 9 (or capable of launching 250,000 kg to LEO in expendable mode).

    100 tons difference between uncontrolled reentry and total recovery of the launch vehicle ... mmm, need to check that (launches Kerbal Space Program)

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday February 06 2018, @06:49PM (1 child)

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Tuesday February 06 2018, @06:49PM (#634018) Homepage
      ITYM "that would be impressive". That value is for a hypothetical future launch vehicle, and therefore deserves the conditional future tense.
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday February 06 2018, @07:29PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @07:29PM (#634050) Journal

        Apologies for not being versed in the subtleties of English language during (and after) a sleepless night.

        Other than that... I may be tempted to invoke the excuse of SpaceX being the (one and only) Musk enterprise that manages to hit the targets they announce, thus the conditional future has credible chances to actually happen.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:15PM (4 children)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:15PM (#634068)

      so 3 LEO trips with the same rocket

      Yeah well, you'll be shocked, shocked to hear that booster mfgr always give ridiculous specs for "LEO" such as "with a hurricane acting as a tailwind at launch time". More seriously, the famous example of the Saturn5 is claimed even on wikipedia as 140,000 Kg to 90 mile orbit, well, lets be realistic, unless you're a bar of tungsten you're re-entering pretty soon at that low of an altitude. Also the 5 was spec'd at Florida inclination about 30 degrees.

      Comparing apples to apples I'm not what the corrected figures are for the 63,800 falcon because I'm too lazy to run the math. I'm sure theres some marketing bastard out there spec'ing LEO orbits to a mere 80 miles altitude, heck if all you're trying to do is reach Hawaii from North Korea suborbital, that's more than good enough. Like some dude said in Korean, we aim for Mars Orbit but keep almost hitting Hawaii. Somewhat more seriously, you're not gonna like the crazy ISS orbit the Russians demanded which averages in the low 200 mile range (lets say 250) and inclination of about 52 degrees.

      I'm too lazy to look up the Chilton manual (LOL) for the Falcon Heavy but I'm gonna guess spacex marketing didn't spec LEO as the whacked out inclination and altitude of the ISS, but probably not as wimpy as the Sat5 spec.

      A bad automotive analogy would be something like advertising a car as great for cross country USA road trips while not mentioning the marketing definition of cross country is Seattle to LA vs National Lampoon's definition of cross country was something like NYC to San Fran, so, you know, a couple percent difference here and there.

      I guess in summary I'm saying "yeah maybe 4 or 5 trips thank you marketing department but you are more or less correct in that it'll be a rather small integer"

      A geosynchronous space station would be interesting. Imagine com-sat-ing the hell out of a geosync human staffed space station, cover that darn thing with narrow bean transponders. It has all the advantages of prepping for solar flare proof interplanetary (interstellar?) generation-ships along with the bonus that if you totally F up a lifeboat can re-enter and land in less than an hour (depending on how much fuel you're willing to burn in the lifeboat)

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Tuesday February 06 2018, @11:09PM (3 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @11:09PM (#634161) Journal

        A geosynchronous space station would be interesting.

        Oh, yeah, for some values of "interesting".
        One of these values being the following interesting trivia "Did you know the geosync orbit is 35,786 km altitude, in the outer part of the Van Allen Radiation Belt? That's where the high energy (0.1-10MeV) electrons [wikipedia.org] are playing".

        A Bremsstrahlung [wikipedia.org] in the X-Ray spectrum for cascading collisions (most probable) or gamma radiation if the electron is stopped in a single collision.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Wednesday February 07 2018, @09:03AM (1 child)

          by deimtee (3272) on Wednesday February 07 2018, @09:03AM (#634339) Journal

          The van allen belt ions are only a problem because the ones that miss you get to go round again. There isn't actually that much in them, and there are serious proposals to actually drain them if we get heavily into space industry.

          --
          No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @09:19PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @09:19PM (#634573)

            I've wondered whether the belts contribute energy to the earth's magnetic field, if so then draining them could be long term catastrophic.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:00PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:00PM (#634386)

          I agree the environment isn't as nice as LEO, but bug, feature, whats the difference. I was kinda into the idea of "We're gonna have to make heavily shielded interplanetary shuttles sooner or later, so may as well start by experimenting with them in comfortable close-to-earth geosync orbit"

          In science fiction they usually handle it by everyone goes into a multi layer vault of lead sheet and the main water tank when there's a bad solar flare. Day to day exposure, ... low level chemo drugs in the food?

  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:16PM (13 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:16PM (#633817)

    Elon Musk: 'If we are successful with this, it is game over for all the other heavy lift rockets'

    http://www.businessinsider.com/falcon-heavy-elon-musk-what-spacex-launch-means-for-competitors-2018-2 [businessinsider.com]

    The world needs to continue development of diverse launch systems, especially in the heavy class. Just because one system takes a step ahead in efficiency for a couple of years isn't a reason to immediately terminate all competing programs.

    --
    Україна не входить до складу Росії.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:40PM (11 children)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:40PM (#633831) Journal

      I wouldn't worry about that one iota. United Launch Alliance will always have a seat at the table because the U.S. Air Force wants redundant capabilities, and because Congressmen like pork. We'll be extremely lucky if even the SLS pork rocket gets cancelled.

      As for the world, countries like China will want to develop their own reusable rocket [atimes.com] capabilities [futurism.com] to ensure they can launch military payloads. I'd expect the same from India, which already launches cheap rockets [wikipedia.org]. In fact, once it becomes clear what needs to be copied from SpaceX, expect nearly all launch providers to attempt rocket landings.

      SpaceX with reusable BFRs is most likely to hurt smaller private companies like Blue Origin and Rocket Lab that don't have the proven capabilities or pork connections that ULA has. Arianespace could be hurt since EU nations fund it and are wary of dumping too much of their own money into a noncompetitive rocket that hasn't flown yet (Ariane 6 [wikipedia.org]). I'm more optimistic about Virgin Galactic and Reaction Engines Limited (Skylon [wikipedia.org]) which are more focused on space tourism and spaceplanes. Rockets are great and the BFR would be the best thing since sliced bread, but casual tourists don't need to go much further than LEO and we want Star Wars style single-stage-to-orbit vehicles (which could also be reusable and very cheap in $/kg).

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 5, Funny) by Freeman on Tuesday February 06 2018, @05:15PM (1 child)

        by Freeman (732) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @05:15PM (#633952) Journal

        Watch out for India though, I hear they can be a bit aggressive. https://www.geek.com/games/why-gandhi-is-always-a-warmongering-jerk-in-civilization-1608515/ [geek.com]

        --
        Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
        • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Tuesday February 06 2018, @11:11PM

          by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @11:11PM (#634164)
          I'd be keeping an eye on England if I was worried about competition. I hear they've made great strides in the field of extended length ladders this past decade.
      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday February 06 2018, @06:18PM (4 children)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @06:18PM (#633996) Journal

        United Launch Alliance will always have a seat at the table because the U.S. Air Force wants redundant capabilities,

        And

        I'm more optimistic about Virgin Galactic

        I know the air force wants big rockets, but they should be the ones flirting with the Virgin.
        With a little work, and lots of money, a scaled up Virgin could be runway to orbit in less than 30 minutes, and put spy satellites into any orbit you'd want.

        Runway to orbit makes more sense than keeping a rocket fueled and on hold for weeks.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday February 06 2018, @06:32PM

          by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday February 06 2018, @06:32PM (#634007) Journal

          Runway to orbit makes more sense than keeping a rocket fueled and on hold for weeks.

          That ain't how it works.

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        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:29PM (2 children)

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:29PM (#634077)

          With a little work, and lots of money, a scaled up Virgin could be runway to orbit in less than 30 minutes

          Only 30 minutes, eh? Whatever. Just wear protection, wrap up that docking port. In the movies its cool when the orbital assembly structure squirts out a starship after months of growth, but in reality its a lot of work and starship captains traditionally (at least in fiction) require a lot of babysitting and oversight or else they run off the rails ("Young man, if all your friends broke the prime directive, would you break the prime directive too? And while you're at it, get off my space-grass lawn.")

          MAIDEN flights, VIRGIN galactic, what is with all this aerospace slut-shaming? A girl should be able to rendezvous at any universal docking port she consents to verbally and in writing.

          • (Score: 1) by jelizondo on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:33PM (1 child)

            by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:33PM (#634107) Journal

            A girl should be able to rendezvous at any universal docking port she consents to verbally and in writing.

            Given the current state of affairs, it should be in writing and with at least two witnesses :-/

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:32PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:32PM (#634142)

              A rocket needs to be able to launch to a station, receive a payload, land back on earth, and only then if it so chooses decide the payload received was done so without consent.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:00PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:00PM (#634121)

        How many casual tourists can a single BFR roast ferry to LEO at one time?

        --
        Україна не входить до складу Росії.
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:48PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @02:48PM (#633837) Journal

      It will only be a monoculture if SpaceX's fat competitors don't get more lean and mean. They are not hungry and driven like a real business should be. They are too reliant on the government teat to always be there. Too dependent on being in bed with congress critters rather than innovating.

      I'm not saying the worker bees are not good innovators. But they work for companies that have a dysfunction in how they operate. It might have made sense in the 1970's. But over time things have changed.

      --
      While in an airport, never use the word "balm".
  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday February 06 2018, @06:31PM (2 children)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday February 06 2018, @06:31PM (#634006) Journal

    delayed to 2:20 PM EST

    https://twitter.com/SpaceX [twitter.com]

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @07:31PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @07:31PM (#634053)

    It looks like a penis and balls.

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:42PM (4 children)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:42PM (#634084) Journal

    I'll predict 2 boosters land properly, and 1 crash lands.

    2 minutes, 45 seconds to launch!

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  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:57PM (21 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @08:57PM (#634090)

    Everything seems to have gone very smoothly. The boosters landed properly, and the first stage was headed to the right place when signal was lost. Good job, all involved!

    The "DON'T PANIC" sign on the dashboard of the payload car was a nice touch.

    --
    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:19PM (18 children)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:19PM (#634096)

      The webcast went split screen four screens and the bottom two showed the same feed if you watched carefully whereas I'm sure the intention was left would be left and right would be right. A pity. The synchronized landing was insanely cool.

      The coverage of the launch was nice, very unlike American sports coverage. If they covered it like American Sports we'd have to listen to 40 minutes of human interest how the janitor overcame dyslexia, then 19 minutes of commercials, and a mere 1 minute of launch.

      When I saw the video of the car and the synchronized landing I'm thinking this is probably at least 50% going to be a TV commercial for the car. Just a few days difference and this could have been a superbowel commercial.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:22PM (13 children)

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:22PM (#634099) Journal

        showed the same feed if you watched carefully

        If you watched and listened even more carefully, you'd find that it was not the same feed (the commentary even addressed this). They looked very similar because they are basically identical and were almost in the same location/angle as well. Hence the simultaneous landing.

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        • (Score: 2, Informative) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:35PM (4 children)

          by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:35PM (#634109)

          I think it was the same feed. Both screens seem to show the same landing pad.

          https://youtu.be/wbSwFU6tY1c?t=2273 [youtu.be]

          --
          "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
          • (Score: 3, Disagree) by Thexalon on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:06PM (3 children)

            by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:06PM (#634127)

            They are not the same feed. As demonstrated by your own link - they're jostling differently, and angled differently.

            I'm guessing they behaved basically identically because they were programmed to behave identically.

            --
            Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:44PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:44PM (#634114)

          I heard them say that too, but watching closely it looked like one could see the other fire up right before touchdown, but the other showed the same flame. So I'm not sure what that flame was, or if they both showed whichever was slightly behind.

          • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:49PM (1 child)

            by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:49PM (#634115)

            I concur with AC, early in the coverage it was creepy that the maneuvering thruster firings and views were utterly identical even apparently digital artifacts looked the same to me; perhaps if the remaining fuel was identical deep in the decimal places, but I donno. Yet later on near the landing the picture quality changed a lot and they looked like two separate feeds.

            I think they accidentally aired two displays of left or right and someone in the production crew fixed it before the landing.

            • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:28PM

              by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:28PM (#634139) Homepage

              It's the same feed with one side occasionally showing a slight delay.

              --
              systemd is Roko's Basilisk
        • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:33PM (4 children)

          by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:33PM (#634143) Homepage

          Commentators can be mistaken. It was the same feed. The boosters are not so similar that they produce identical flames.

          --
          systemd is Roko's Basilisk
      • (Score: 2) by terryk30 on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:25PM

        by terryk30 (1753) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:25PM (#634136)

        The synchronized landing was insanely cool.

        Seconded. That may have been the f-most coolest tech thing I've ever seen.

        Made me wonder if they had to upgrade those things to watch out for each other... (Or maybe at separation they're practically guaranteed to also separate enough from each other that this isn't a practical concern?)

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:45AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:45AM (#634242)

        The coverage of the launch was nice, very unlike American sports coverage.

        WOO! YEAH!
        WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!!!!
        RAAAAAAAHRRRRRRROOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        YEAAAAAAAAAAAAHWOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        YYYEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
        AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!
        AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!
        HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
        HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
        HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
        HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
        HHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Wednesday February 07 2018, @12:28PM

        by wonkey_monkey (279) on Wednesday February 07 2018, @12:28PM (#634380) Homepage

        They've released a corrected video showing views from both boosters:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCc16uozHVE [youtube.com]

        --
        systemd is Roko's Basilisk
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:20PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:20PM (#634098) Journal

      I'm about done updating the story. It will cruise through the Van Allen belts for hours before doing a final burn.

      Still don't know what happened to the center core that attempted landing on the drone barge.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:22PM (#634100)

      I usually don't catch these live, but today I made sure to set aside some time. Very exciting and also moving to see the humans making progress.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:30PM (9 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:30PM (#634105) Journal
    Not only did the launch go without a hitch, but they have a beautiful, choreographed landing of the two side cores at Cape Canaveral. SpaceX did a remarkable job today.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:57PM (3 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @09:57PM (#634118)

      Congrats to SpaceX on a great launch... how long before we get solid news about the central booster's fate on the Drone ship?

      --
      Україна не входить до складу Росії.
    • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:30PM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Tuesday February 06 2018, @10:30PM (#634141) Homepage

      That was the best part. I forgot what I exclaimed, but I exclaimed it out loud.

      --
      systemd is Roko's Basilisk
    • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Tuesday February 06 2018, @11:14PM

      by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @11:14PM (#634168)
      That's definitely going into my top 10 coolest things I've ever seen list, right after watching a freaking car spin slowly in orbit above the earth. I had to keep reminding myself this wasn't CGI but real life.
    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Tuesday February 06 2018, @11:41PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06 2018, @11:41PM (#634184)

      Agreed. If i had known what watching the stream was going to be like then i would have gathered my friends together in front of a big TV and drank during the launch. Amazing.

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
    • (Score: 2) by theluggage on Wednesday February 07 2018, @12:28AM (1 child)

      by theluggage (1797) on Wednesday February 07 2018, @12:28AM (#634223)

      That shot of the two boosters landing looked like a 1970s artists impression of what 1980 was going to look like - finally come alive.

      Seriously: Bono, P., Gatland, K. (1969) Frontiers of Space (p63 - S-IVB Recovery Sequence). Blandford Press, London. ISBN 0 7137 3504 X.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @06:09AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @06:09AM (#634714) Journal
        My friend remarked while we were seeing that landing live: "Like God and Heinlein intended." Which is interesting given that the saying was first used [wordpress.com] for the DC-X by Arlan Andrews while describing the vertical landing capabilities of that vehicle (and subsequently used in reference [wordpress.com] to other vehicles with vertical landing capabilities). It certainly was like looking at some science fiction artwork from long ago.
  • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:11AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:11AM (#634226)

    10% are self aware. 100% think they are self aware. Elon has the self-awareness, empathy, intelligence, and compassion that allows him to do this. That combination is one in a billion at best. Even then, he has been divorced. The guy is worth either negative or positive $20 billion, and just doesn't care. Because he's different from you.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:50AM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:50AM (#634249) Journal

      I'm not self aware of this self aware meme.

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      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @03:31AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @03:31AM (#634274)

        It's not a meme. I talked in person about it with khallow, and MDC as well. Look at the book "Elephant in the brain" by Robin Hanson.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @03:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @03:48AM (#634280)

      Self-awareness is overrated. It's about what you do, not how you think of yourself.

  • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:29AM (7 children)

    by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:29AM (#634233)

    Say 1/3 of the boosters fail to re-land as happened today. The end-customer wouldn't be directly charged for a failure like this, but I wonder how resilient the business model is to account for such failures. Could you lose 30% of your hardware every other launch and still keep the spaceport open by being cheaper than your competition? I wonder, but in any case, the functionality and reliability of their launch - which is really what the customers directly care most about - seemed a resounding success, so I anticipate their success, at any rate.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by KilroySmith on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:37AM

      by KilroySmith (2113) on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:37AM (#634238)

      If they can reuse anything, they'll be able to undercut the competition. They'll certainly have to adjust the launch cost if they lose too many boosters, but that's acceptable.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:46AM (4 children)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday February 07 2018, @01:46AM (#634244) Journal

      In the press conference, Musk said it was more important to recover the side boosters because of the expensive titanium grid fins they had. He said that if he had the choose one to be destroyed, it would be the center core. Even though the center core of Falcon Heavy has to be custom built for Falcon Heavy (a normal Falcon 9 booster is not strong enough for the job).

      I believe the current $62 million and $90 million prices for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy assume expendability. Customers could get a 10-30% discount on those prices when reusability is attempted.

      Of course, this is just a test. Previously, he had said that just having the rocket explode after 20 seconds (far enough to not damage the launch pad) would be a victory. Instead, they nailed the simultaneous booster landing and scored a PR coup with "Starman" instead of the temporary excitement of a huge fireball. And now the rocket is testing direct-to-GEO capability and soon we should have an Earth-Mars cycler (the first one ever?).

      BFR shouldn't have the same issues. It's just two stages, the booster and the spaceship. The booster will have the oomph to land on the ground consistently, or over the water if used near major cities for city-to-city transport. The problem that killed the Falcon Heavy center core this time was that it ran out of fuel [twitter.com]. BFR booster will have a massive amount of fuel.

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      • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Wednesday February 07 2018, @10:52AM (3 children)

        by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 07 2018, @10:52AM (#634360)

        The problem that killed the Falcon Heavy center core this time was that it ran out of fuel

        Well, not quite. Problem was only one engine ignited out of three required, so probably not fuel but igniter (the TEA-TEB - hypergolic chemical igniter). I think fuel tank is same for all engines but ingiter supply and tankage may be separate for each engine (?) and hence it was possible for two engines to run out of igniter, or maybe there was only enough igniter to light one, or some other failure.

        If there is separate igniter supply and that was the problem, then there were six other engines that could have been used instead but probably zero time in which to use them - this is the inherent risk with hover-slam, if the burn doesn't happen exactly as planned you are toast, no second chances.

        Worth remembering also that the center core is the one that is _not_ a standard F9 core - I believe it is heavily modified for strength and it will be heavier too therefore. I'm sure they'll figure out what happened.

        The real WTF, for me, was the "successful" final burn, which has apparently put the payload into an orbit way beyond what was planned and possibly out to Ceres. Not sure what happened there - failure to shut-off, or they just burned until fuel ran out (planned?!), or got the calculations wrong, or what. Seems a little reckless if they planned to just burn all the fuel and see where it ends up.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday February 07 2018, @06:00PM (2 children)

          by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday February 07 2018, @06:00PM (#634464) Journal

          The real WTF, for me, was the "successful" final burn, which has apparently put the payload into an orbit way beyond what was planned and possibly out to Ceres. Not sure what happened there - failure to shut-off, or they just burned until fuel ran out (planned?!), or got the calculations wrong, or what. Seems a little reckless if they planned to just burn all the fuel and see where it ends up.

          I haven't read anything about this yet, but if it is true I'll dump it into the next Falcon Heavy story going live in 1 hour, 54 minutes.

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @09:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @09:57AM (#634350)

      I believe the center stage was a test landing. The failure is listed as only one engine out of three started back up.

      As far as I know, landings have been done with only one engine, except for the recent water landing that ended up floating. If I remember correctly, this means that the center stage landing was the first attempt at doing a three engine landing on a barge.

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