SpaceX Falcon 9 Successful Drone Ship Landing

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I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself. Check out the perfect landing the Falcon 9 pulled off today. In fact, the landing is so good, it almost looks like they just played the take-off in reverse. :cool:
 

nessus

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Absolutely brilliant outcome!

won't be a lot of repair work on the barge like last time...
 

Exavior

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Why doesn't the speed in the corner start going down and stop once it lands?
 

Xrave

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Pretty awesome. If you keep watching the video you can see a pretty decent ocean chop, which makes it even more impressive.

Why doesn't the speed in the corner start going down and stop once it lands?

That is for the stage 2 booster that is carrying the Dragon capsule to the ISS. The stage 1 booster is what landed on the ship.
 

Accursed

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That ocean looks pretty rough also. Once it lands you can see it stat rocking....

Amazing, truly Amazing...
 

mullet

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I would like to see NASA do that, just incredible!!
 

Xrave

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Well, the end goal is for NASA to contract these private companies for cheap, reusable cargo runs.

NASA is going to concentrate on the mega rockets for deep space.
 

UnrealCpu

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all i understood was roooooooooooooar roooooooooooooar drone ship roaaaaaaaaaaaaaar roarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr drone ship roooooooooooar landing roarrrrrrrrr and more roooooooooar first time roarrrrrrrrrrrrr raorrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I can see the pre orders for the model 3 downpayments are going to a good cause , hopefully mr musk can follow through. Im sure sure we will be seeing more tesla cars explode in near future . No im not shorting this stock
 

UnrealCpu

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Well, the end goal is for NASA to contract these private companies for cheap, reusable cargo runs.

NASA is going to concentrate on the mega rockets for deep space.

The government and NASA already have UFO technology , elon musk is way behind about 1000 years
good luck with that WW2 technology
 

mullet

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If NASA would spent money like Space X and Blue Origin then they would still have money to do things. I love the folks at NASA but they went through money like shit through a goose.
 

steakman1971

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Impressive. I think having rockets land like this was started in WW2 - pretty sure I saw a documentary on it. However, not saying they had a lot of success with the landings. Kudos to the rocket team!
 

ccityinstaller

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The government and NASA already have UFO technology , elon musk is way behind about 1000 years
good luck with that WW2 technology

I'll bite..What sort of 1000 year advanced tech have you seen NASA and the Feds flaunt? Memory foam mattresses perhaps?
 

atp1916

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Hearing that crowd, it must be such a rewarding feeling to tackle that challenge - to fail so many times and taste the pressure, stress, tears, blood...but then to make it work.... so awesome. Got my blood going on that one.

Talk about a go get 'em feeling. SpaceX must have an interesting work environment!
 

Kurik

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I'm just wondering how they keep it standing up for the ride back. Rocket's center of mass has to make it unstable to ride on the ship like that.
 

bigddybn

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It's a neat trick but I'm not sure what advantage the ocean landing has over putting it back on the ground like Blue Origin has done. Repeatedly and on the first try.
 

Snowdog

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I'm just wondering how they keep it standing up for the ride back. Rocket's center of mass has to make it unstable to ride on the ship like that.

An empty rocket has most of it's mass near the bottom. It also deploys some fins near the top to stabilize while descending.
 

BallerX

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It's a neat trick but I'm not sure what advantage the ocean landing has over putting it back on the ground like Blue Origin has done. Repeatedly and on the first try.

LOL. Firstly, Blue origin is not going anywhere near as far down range or as fast. The Falcon rocket booster actually has to turn around and go back the other way if it wants to land back at the launch site. It's not some fancy elevator like the blue origin. The barge landing means they can use less fuel for landing since they don't have to allow fuel for the rocket booster to turn around. Thus, they can put a larger payload into orbit than if they landed at the launch site. Space-X has already demonstrated landing back at the launch site but it was a smaller payload.

Secondly, there is no persons or property that they might destroy in the event of a failure out in the ocean. Just a cheap assed barge that they have clearly demonstrated that they can replace/repair at minimal expense if something does go wrong.
 

bigddybn

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LOL. Firstly, Blue origin is not going anywhere near as far down range or as fast. The Falcon rocket booster actually has to turn around and go back the other way if it wants to land back at the launch site. It's not some fancy elevator like the blue origin. The barge landing means they can use less fuel for landing since they don't have to allow fuel for the rocket booster to turn around. Thus, they can put a larger payload into orbit than if they landed at the launch site. Space-X has already demonstrated landing back at the launch site but it was a smaller payload.

Secondly, there is no persons or property that they might destroy in the event of a failure out in the ocean. Just a cheap assed barge that they have clearly demonstrated that they can replace/repair at minimal expense if something does go wrong.

Other than you're a big fan of the SpaceX program I literally see nothing in your post that actually resembles a meaningful advantage.

Your space elevator description makes vague sense in text though I have a feeling it doesn't apply to the real world. Regardless it would be easy to just pick a spot in the middle of a desert instead of the ocean. A crash landing in the desert would cost exactly.... nothing extra?
 

Snowdog

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It's a neat trick but I'm not sure what advantage the ocean landing has over putting it back on the ground like Blue Origin has done. Repeatedly and on the first try.

All BO did was fly straight up and down test flight, Tesla did this in testing as well. It's not much of a challenge.

What Tesla did was much more difficult and significant, in both it's landings (ground and ocean). It actually delivered payload to the space station and landed the booster, first on land, and now finally at sea.

BO: Burn engines fly straight up, shut engines, drop straight down, burn engines land.
SX: Burn egines fly up and out over the ocean to launch payload into space, separate stages, flip over first stage, fly back over ocean to toward takeoff site, then drop down and burn for landing.

Now the advantage of the Ocean landing.

You don't need to keep all that extra fuel to fly back over ocean, to get back to the land, instead you can position a barge out in the ocean near where you expect to come down. This is not just about saving money on fuel, it is also about delivering more payload into space.

Helpful graphics:
(BO vs SX landing on ground, low detail)
ATkpdAX.png


Water landing in more detail:
16892430560_f87dff78c0_o_1.jpg
 

bigddybn

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All BO did was fly straight up and down test flight, Tesla did this in testing as well. It's not much of a challenge.

What Tesla did was much more difficult and significant, in both it's landings (ground and ocean). It actually delivered payload to the space station and landed the booster, first on land, and now finally at sea.

BO: Burn engines fly straight up, shut engines, drop straight down, burn engines land.
SX: Burn egines fly up and out over the ocean to launch payload into space, separate stages, flip over first stage, fly back over ocean to toward takeoff site, then drop down and burn for landing.

Now the advantage of the Ocean landing.

You don't need to keep all that extra fuel to fly back over ocean, to get back to the land, instead you can position a barge out in the ocean near where you expect to come down. This is not just about saving money on fuel, it is also about delivering more payload into space.

Helpful graphics:
http://i.imgur.com/ATkpdAX.png

Water landing in more detail:
http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/16892430560_f87dff78c0_o_1.jpg

It's a neat trick but I'm not sure what advantage the ocean landing has over putting it back on the ground like Blue Origin has done. Repeatedly and on the first try.

I understand all of that and I'm not pretending that Blue Origin has accomplished the same thing. I am asking a specific question. What advantage is there to trying to hit an unstable, mobile and constantly moving target vs a completely stable ground target?
 

Snowdog

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It's a neat trick but I'm not sure what advantage the ocean landing has over putting it back on the ground like Blue Origin has done. Repeatedly and on the first try.

I understand all of that and I'm not pretending that Blue Origin has accomplished the same thing. I am asking a specific question. What advantage is there to trying to hit an unstable, mobile and constantly moving target vs a completely stable ground target?

Try actually reading my post, starting at: "Now the advantage of the Ocean landing."
 

bigddybn

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Try actually reading my post, starting at: "Now the advantage of the Ocean landing."

I did. Perhaps you should do it as well. You'd see that you explained the advantage of landing downrange from the launch location which I don't dispute for a second. What you didn't explain was the advantage of an ocean landing vs picking a remote spot on land. If your craft is in orbit already then you could simply hold the orbit a bit longer to reach your target re-entry point. I'd be surprised if they aren't already doing this now since a slow moving barge isn't going to be able to reposition itself much to catch up to a rocket moving at many time the speed of sound to account for some uncontrolled variable. You'd make the correction with the rocket in flight.

The advantages of a land target:

Doesn't move
Doesn't rock
Doesn't need to be (re)positioned
Doesn't need to have all facilities packed into a self contained barge
Doesn't rely on relatively calm seas
Doesn't need to be able to transport an inherently unstable vertically positioned rocket
Doesn't require retrieval from the bottom of the ocean should something go wrong.

The advantages of a water target:

Cool youtube videos?

I'm asking a legitimate question about the mechanics of the launch, not questioning the amazing technical achievement that has been accomplished. There is no need to interpret it as an attack on someone's personal savior or fanboy favorite.
 

Machupo

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The required orbital parameters, in conjunction with the launch site location and amount of available fuel dictate the viable set of landing locations. Most of the earth is water.

For leo insertions that do not require significant changes in orbital inclination, a return to launch site might be a viable (though not the most efficient) path. For more fuel intensive mission profiles, the available option set for landing locations shrinks (eventually, to a point down range from the launch site). In the case of most launch sites (per safety regulations), this is over water.
 

Snowdog

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I did. Perhaps you should do it as well. You'd see that you explained the advantage of landing downrange from the launch location which I don't dispute for a second. What you didn't explain was the advantage of an ocean landing vs picking a remote spot on land. If your craft is in orbit already then you could simply hold the orbit a bit longer to reach your target re-entry point. I'd be surprised if they aren't already doing this now since a slow moving barge isn't going to be able to reposition itself much to catch up to a rocket moving at many time the speed of sound to account for some uncontrolled variable. You'd make the correction with the rocket in flight.

1: You are moving the goalposts, this is the first time you mentioned "Picking a remote spot on land". Until now, you were comparing to what BO was doing. So I didn't explain that, because you didn't ask that until now.

2: The first stage is NOT orbital. So you can't just orbit until you pick your spot to land.

So again, it's already been explained. It's fuel savings, which translate into bigger payloads into space and/or money savings.
 
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I did. Perhaps you should do it as well. You'd see that you explained the advantage of landing downrange from the launch location which I don't dispute for a second. What you didn't explain was the advantage of an ocean landing vs picking a remote spot on land. If your craft is in orbit already then you could simply hold the orbit a bit longer to reach your target re-entry point. I'd be surprised if they aren't already doing this now since a slow moving barge isn't going to be able to reposition itself much to catch up to a rocket moving at many time the speed of sound to account for some uncontrolled variable. You'd make the correction with the rocket in flight.

The advantages of a land target:

Doesn't move
Doesn't rock
Doesn't need to be (re)positioned
Doesn't need to have all facilities packed into a self contained barge
Doesn't rely on relatively calm seas
Doesn't need to be able to transport an inherently unstable vertically positioned rocket
Doesn't require retrieval from the bottom of the ocean should something go wrong.

The advantages of a water target:

Cool youtube videos?

I'm asking a legitimate question about the mechanics of the launch, not questioning the amazing technical achievement that has been accomplished. There is no need to interpret it as an attack on someone's personal savior or fanboy favorite.

The vast majority of what a launch vehicle carries is fuel. Turning around and going back to land uses a lot of fuel and reduces payloads. BO is a little rocket, SpaceX is a big rocket. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe there are rules that make it difficult to launch a massive container of Methalox (I think SpaceX is Methalox) across the land and over populated areas, that's why you either go over the sea or straight up and down. Add to that the fact that a traditional launch also means you are using your first stage to move your orbiter up to speed, the whole launch ends up being more efficient and (more importantly) more powerful. BO is supposed to have VBB (Very Big Brother) coming later, we'll see what their plan is for larger payloads.

Neither of these rockets are anywhere near the finish line though, and with a little money going back into engine research this whole thing could change.
 

Term-X

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I'm asking a legitimate question about the mechanics of the launch, not questioning the amazing technical achievement that has been accomplished. There is no need to interpret it as an attack on someone's personal savior or fanboy favorite.

They stated as much as they could and in clear language. Whether or not you agree that those are advantages or not and choose to pursue the "I'm still waiting for valid advantages" shtick; maybe these guys aren't engineers, I don't know. Maybe they can't provide the calculations or whatever other information you are looking for to validate these claims. Perhaps you should direct your question to SpaceX's engineers at this point.
 

Slinkycatz

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Bigddybn,

Google xkcd orbital speed. (Can't include a link since I just registered, it'll be the first one in the list (#58 in their What If series)). It does a great job via illustration that may answer some questions on the difference between Blue Origin and orbital rockets.
 

BallerX

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Other than you're a big fan of the SpaceX program I literally see nothing in your post that actually resembles a meaningful advantage.

I think at this point it's pretty clear that you don't see an advantage because you don't know shit about space flight, how rockets work, payload fractions, etc. It's all about Delta-V. That means change in velocity. See, rocket scientists measure fuel in dV. AKA how much velocity change they have left in the tank. If a downrange booster wants to land back at the launch site it has to cancel it's current velocity. That is super expensive on fuel. As a matter of fact, it takes nearly the same amount of fuel to do that as it does to get to the down range separation point in the first place. That is a huge difference in payload fraction.

As for landing just anywhere down range..... No, they can't do that. You can't have huge heavy shit with toxic chemicals in it crashing down on a suburb somewhere. We launch with the rotation of the earth in order to gain an advantage in dV. That's east from the U.S. last time I checked. So let me ask you this? What is east of the east coast of the U.S.? In case you aren't a geography major, ill explain it. The fucking Atlantic ocean. There is also orbital inclination to worry about. Not many launches are equatorial. Very few honestly. You can't have your rocket booster end up in another country somewhere. International waters is the way to go. Nobody is "fanboying" about anything. We are telling you like it is. You asked a question. It was answered. I'm sorry you have a stick up your ass today.
 

bigddybn

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Yes I'm not an expert on rocket launch procedures and theory. Hence the question. Great observation. Your trophy is incoming.

It's already been established that I'm not asking about landing back at a launch site. Making a u-turn at mach 3 obviously is going to burn a bit of fuel. I'm simply asking why landing on a bobbing ocean platform is preferred to a land based target. Safety seems to be the answer thanks to Machupo. The other replies were a lesson in reading comprehension, or lack of apparently.

Nobody said anything about "landing just anywhere." I specifically stated "in the middle of a desert." Know what else is east of the US? Yeah, the worlds biggest desert. Perhaps your geography professor can help you find it. It can be tricky.
 

bigddybn

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If anyone is actually interested in a mature conversation about the very same topic that doesn't include juvenile keyboard warriors tossing out personal insults and cursing here the the exact same question with some informed answers including quotes from Musk himself. It would seem the reasons are a mixture of both all and none of the above.

Why did SpaceX attempt to land the booster on a barge instead of somewhere on land?
 
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