Close, but no cigar: SpaceX reusable rocket sticks landing but tips over

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,682   +124
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SpaceX recently tried for a second time to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating drone barge and for the second time, the experiment ended in explosive fashion. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter that the rocket landed fine but excess lateral velocity caused it to tip over post-landing. That’s better than the January landing in which the rocket came down at an angle and violently exploded on impact.

The eventual goal is to be able to successfully land a rocket in order to reuse it. Musk previously said that if one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets like we do airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred.

No word yet on when SpaceX will try for a third time.

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Guest

I guess that one is not reusable, time to waste more millions on another one!
 
G

Guest

They landend more times than twice already. And several times with more success and accuracy. But these were landings on the sea which obviously never ended in reuse of the rocket. Which would be the historic milestone.
 
G

Guest

Good thing about privatizing space though, these rockets aren't made with tax payer money. They can waste billions as far as I'm concerned.
 
Impossible to believe that a tall column, could be held upright on a tossing ship at sea. Add to that the fact that there was no immediate gripper to stabilize the rocket. (even a boat needs rigging that extends to the top of the mast) It needs a land based pad and a substantial grip mechanism to capture it in an upright position, and either hold it there or immediately swing it down horizontally onto the ground.
 

9Nails

Posts: 1,215   +177
Even if it stuck the landing and got a 10 from the French judge, I'd still watch the video 3 or 4 times! This stuff is just fascinating.
 
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MilwaukeeMike

Posts: 3,213   +1,462
Good thing about privatizing space though, these rockets aren't made with tax payer money. They can waste billions as far as I'm concerned.
One might argue that using a rocket only once like the govt does is also a waste of billions in taxpayer money.
 
Fascinating, must have watched it 10 times, just can not get enough of this stuff.

As a mechanical engineer, perhaps we are going about this the wrong way, instead of trying to catch it from the bottom up. How about catching it from the top down? Build a giant funnel on the barge, "with exhaust venting", and have the rocket land in the funnel. The bottom fins on the rocket would guide it down the funnel, then top fins would pop out and catch the top of the funnel. (Shutdown!) holding it nice and securely undamaged in a transportable structure.
 
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Badvok

Posts: 318   +163
I guess that one is not reusable, time to waste more millions on another one!
1. It's his money; 2. It's not millions, the landing was just an extra experiment at the end of launching an ISS resupply capsule; 3. It has the potential to save millions in the long term.
 
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I don’t get why you would not use a parachute. I assume a parachute would weigh far less than the fuel needed to do this.

Also, I am sure that using rocket fuel creates more global warming….. Maybe they should use batteries. They are supposed to save the world.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,582   +6,101
They'll eventually put it all together! After all, that's the reason I bought my kids an old car to start with!!!!
 

melkiik

Posts: 42   +11
So close. And to make a rocket hit target that size on reverse is hard enough.
I think they just need few more times to try it out.

And why the violent explosion, one would think that kipping to sea would resolve in slush not boom? Or do they blow them up on purposes incase of failure so no one can come and dive the tech and steal it? Some facts needed for a rocket noob *nerd*
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,209   +4,970
So close. And to make a rocket hit target that size on reverse is hard enough.
I think they just need few more times to try it out.

And why the violent explosion, one would think that kipping to sea would resolve in slush not boom? Or do they blow them up on purposes incase of failure so no one can come and dive the tech and steal it? Some facts needed for a rocket noob *nerd*
Wouldn't it be easier to allow it to be stolen, have somebody get it working, then sue them for patent infringement?

Really. They should run a cost analysis to see which would be cheaper, further R & D, or patent litigation.

BS. It clearly makes a successful landing at 0:08 and, if you look very carefully, you can see captain cranky pulling a rug out from under the rocket at 0:10 while giving the finger to Musk.
I hate that ****** ***** ***.

That said, I come from a time when men were men, VTOL aircraft had propellers, government took on all the big ideas, some of which almost, but didn't quite, come to fruition.:D


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convair_XFY-1
 
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cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,520   +5,880
I hate that ****** ***** ***.
That's no excuse for running around and setting all the Teslas on fire. Just don't tell anyone I supplied the matches.

Seriously though; I've seen mechanical arms programmed to automatically catch objects thrown across a room. I don't see why the same can not be done on a larger scale. The rocket could be caught before it completely touches down, even if it is not perfectly vertical.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,209   +4,970
...[ ]...Seriously though; I've seen mechanical arms programmed to automatically catch objects thrown across a room. I don't see why the same can not be done on a larger scale. The rocket could be caught before it completely touches down, even if it is not perfectly vertical.
By the same token, this is the reason the space shuttles had wings. Because it's too hard to parallel park, in three dimensions, backwards, and doing it without rear view mirrors.

As far as a mechanical arm goes, yeah but, an arm would only have a finite practical reach, which would, (I'm pretty sure), make the target landing point for the rocket, impractically small.

All of this is why I think Musk is a crackpot. As soon as one of these fools starts talking about "flying cars", it's just some egomaniac running their mouth. Flying cars are far from a new idea, and even further from a good one.

So, why can't you use a retrieval arm? Because once Musk gets an idea in his head to do something a certain way, it's all over save for the beg-a-thon for funding.

Check out the link I posted to the Convair "Pogo". VTOL has been screwed around with for 6 decades, to very little avail. The only practical solutions are the "vectored thrust" aircraft. The Harrier works, but that Lockheed "Osprey", was so over budget, for so long, with so many issues, one could never call it an, 'overnight success'. One major factor with the AV-8, is VTOL or STOL cuts the range of the aircraft by perhaps as much as half. A mission has to specifically require such maneuvers, or they don't use those capabilities. And fuel is an even bigger consideration where space flight is involved. The Brits use the Harrier on their aircraft carriers, on which, they have launch ramps for them. So no VTOL stunts at sea.

Musk has a god complex, and he's been watching too much Sci-Fi. The two really don't mix well in the mind of a sociopath.. And that's why I hate that ******* ****** ***!:mad:
 
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