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Live rocket launch


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I made a rocket like SN8 when I was about ten years old.  I can understand why SpaceX may be having a few problems today.  I had terrible trouble getting the tin foil to stick to the cardboard tube.

Not sure if anyone else interested in this sort of thing, but in about 30 mins there's a live launch here: http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx  

As seen here in this uninterrupted footage from somebody on the ground with an LX200 and some nice tracking software. It's an incredible feat.  The little detail (from the press conference) that

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7 hours ago, johnfosteruk said:

Still, an amazing achievement.

Absolutely. Whatever happened to the central core is a side show compared with what they achieved with the launch, and that coordinated landing of the two booster cores.

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Musk has tweeted that the boost will actually take it almost as far out as Ceres.

Looks like they decided to invest propellant in maxing the orbit rather than landing the core - let's face  it recover core  benefits them, bigger orbit benefits their customers.

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2 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 it recover core  benefits them, bigger orbit benefits their customers.

EM said during the press conference that they were "not going to re-use the core anyway", so I guess this has saved them the cost of taking it to the Council Recycling Amenity :D (and the car too haha !)

They dont intend re-using the boosters either but he said that they did have some useful bits on them to recycle, so he was pleased that it was those that survived, not the other way round.

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I loved all of yesterday's coverage but must admit that I didn't really know anything about Elon Musk until Space X's most recent successful ventures made it into the media. Ok, he's a really rich businessman who but he's also a true visionary. I like to think he'll continue to use his wealth and vision to focus on "good things" :) 

Like some others have said already, getting a man to Mars now looks possible in my time. The final frontier just reopened with one huge boost!

I know, he'll promote the Space X vehicles for both commercial and military use. He needs to make money to keep it all going. I'll just put my fingers in my ears and make la-la noises when they're doing the less exploratory launches... :) 

I'm no snowflake but I'd be sad to see a great visionary's view obscured by the same-old same-old space race.

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Watching EM during the press conference he came over as a man of great good humour (or humor over there :) ) and the conference was a world away from the stilted stuffed shirts of yesteryear !

One thing though that is puzzling me, the thing takes off at huge great speed, flies rapidly (<understatement!) down range, boosters peel off, , ,then,  how did they fly back to the Cape to land ? I saw no wings and extra motor.

Scratches head ,,,,

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2 minutes ago, SilverAstro said:

Watching EM during the press conference he came over as a man of great good humour (or humor over there :) ) and the conference was a world away from the stilted stuffed shirts of yesteryear !

One thing though that is puzzling me, the thing takes off at huge great speed, flies rapidly (<understatement!) down range, boosters peel off, , ,then,  how did they fly back to the Cape to land ? I saw no wings and extra motor.

Scratches head ,,,,

Very good question!

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28 minutes ago, SilverAstro said:

One thing though that is puzzling me, the thing takes off at huge great speed, flies rapidly (<understatement!) down range, boosters peel off, , ,then,  how did they fly back to the Cape to land ? I saw no wings and extra motor.

Scratches head ,,,,

The boosters turn using maneuvering thrusters around then re-ignite their main engines to reverse their track.  Bare in mind that most of the fuel they used to get up there was used to carry the payload and the fuel itself up out of a gravity field.  Therefore surprisingly little fuel is needed for the return trip.  They then fire for a third time to slow themselves down just as they start entering the thicker part of the atmosphere.   They are then slowed down and steered by a combination of short thruster burns and some neat steering grids on the side of the booster.  Just before touchdown they ignite the main engines for a fourth and final time to land.

Edited by michaelmorris
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oh ! ding !! I think  :

but the Cape is not where it was,  it has moved with the rotation of the Earth underneath it all, so ,

gosh that means that the timing of separation and the speed that they had achieved must be precisely matched to the rotation such that they fall back at exactly the right moment to "hit" the Cape at where it now is ?

but such a narrow window would set an exactly defined  weight to the payload, if more weight then more boost, but they would then overshot the Cape ??

meanwhile the centre core has gained extra speed so needs a boat to catch it ?? clever !

my head hurts, too much scratching !

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6 minutes ago, SilverAstro said:

gosh that means that the timing of separation and the speed that they had achieved must be precisely matched to the rotation such that they fall back at exactly the right moment to "hit" the Cape at where it now is ?

Whilst the Earth's rotation will certainly help shorten the the return track, AFAIK it is a not the whole story.  From what I understand, the boosters do actually partially retraces their path through space as well as retracing their ground track.

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Just now, michaelmorris said:

Whilst the Earth's rotation will certainly help shorten the the return track, AFAIK it is a not the whole story.  From what I understand, the boosters do actually partially retraces their path through space as well as retracing their ground track.

Yes, most of my thinking (above)  is in error because it starts with the initial velocity of the earth (so it is 'flying' relative), but not sure about the turning round and flying back bit, it all must be more-or-less ballistic ?

Generally speaking it is more efficient fuel-wise to launch satellites into orbit with the rotation of the Earth than against it., so hmmm,,

There is more to this than meets the eye ! all very thought provoking !

 

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