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SpaceX successfully launches Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time

By Shawn Knight · 196 replies
Feb 6, 2018
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  1. SpaceX on Tuesday launched its Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time. The test flight has been highly anticipated for months and following some delays due to weather, the massive rocket blasted off without incident to begin an extended orbit around the Sun.

    SpaceX conducted a static test fire of Falcon Heavy in January, firing up all 27 Merlin engines in preparation for an actual launch.

    Seeing as today’s launch is merely a test, Falcon Heavy wasn’t carrying a commercial payload (the company often shuttles supplies to the International Space Agency or puts satellites into orbit for paying customers). Instead, the company elected to strap Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster on the rocket and send it on a journey that could last for nearly a billion years. You know, just for fun.

    Behind the wheel of the Tesla is none other than “Starman,” a dummy decked out in SpaceX’s own space suit. The driver is named after a song by David Bowie, also called Starman. How cool is that?

    Impressively enough, SpaceX even managed to simultaneously land both boosters on solid ground.

    As for the rocket's core, well, it's fate remains unknown at this time (nearly 30 minutes after launch). The core was supposed to land on a drone ship in the Atlantic but the barge's camera feed cut out right as it was approaching. Conveniently enough, SpaceX's livestream ended before the core's fate was shared, sending onlookers into a mild state of panic.

    Permalink to story.

  2. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,159   +1,611

    It is an impressive feat even if it is a publicity stunt.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,586   +3,054

    While there was a BUNCH of publicity there, it is hardly a stunt. I'm not a fan of Musk but I must admit that he's accomplished over a few years what NASA took many decades. He takes risks and he earns his rewards; I only hope he settles down a bit and becomes more tactical in his planning and execution. I still believe he would be wiser to work up plans for a moon base and prove his work before sending some poor souls out to Mars ......
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,159   +1,611

    And that is why I see it as a publicity stunt. If it were not, he would be the first one to have volunteered for that Mars mission. He wants others to risk their lives for his enrichment. Sounds similar to jihadists, to me. Such stunts will draw the Musk sheep to him like moths to a flame.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    Boilerhog146 and JaredTheDragon like this.
  5. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,667   +1,919

    He's already loaded, he doesn't need anymore money. Further, he is personally funding Tesla and SpaceX. Not all of it, but a significant chunk of it.

    Edit:. I'd like to add this is actually contributing to human progress not just another iPhone ad. If you can think of a better use of personally spent publicity stunt money, let me know.
    Charles Olson and pawel04 like this.
  6. OortCloud

    OortCloud TS Addict Posts: 203   +84

    What a ludicrous comparison
  7. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,106   +1,382

    Speaking of publicity stunts... did you see what the Eagles pulled on Sunday?! Clearly they only won so they could make the city go nuts for their own personal enrichment and entertainment...not unlike jihadists if you ask me. ;)
    TheBigT42, TomSEA and Godel like this.
  8. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 894   +618

  9. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 832   +339

    Bummer they lost the center core, hit the barge (or near it) at 300mph.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,154   +3,465

    Well first, Space-X dumps a 1/2 billion dollar spy satellite into the Indian Ocean. (Loss of taxpayer funds)

    Then a week or so later, they manage to put Musk's Tesla into orbit as a publicity stunt, using three times the amount of rocket fuel, while pissing away more taxpayer funds to no useful purpose).

    I'd say this goes to prove that Musk is a publicity who*e and an egomaniac.

    Of course, I have no doubt that others will disagree.
    Boilerhog146 and JaredTheDragon like this.
  11. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,159   +1,611

    That's why estimates for Tesla's loss are at $3.19 per share for the 4th quarter 2017, but we will find out tomorrow. https://electrek.co/2018/02/05/tesla-tsla-fourth-quarter-2017-results/

    Just like Musk to launch the day before releasing results for Tesla. He took a chance, or maybe not, that the launch would go smoothly because if his gamble was correct, it will soften the blow of yet another Tesla loss.

    You and I are certainly on the other side of the Tesla fence. Others are wholeheartedly welcome to disagree with me.

    He still gets those taxpayer funds even if he sends a car worth $250K into space instead of donating it to a worthy charity, or dumps a 1/2 billion dollar satellite into the ocean, or the core of his ship destroys itself, and perhaps his autonomous barge. At the moment, he is nothing but a parasitic showman as I see him. By all means, everyone else praise the man while he sucks on your taxpayer dollars. He has earned most of his income in his career as a parasite. He could easily do better as I see it. He simply does not do enough to further benefit humanity.

    While Musk is not doing research, other companies are and my bet is that in a few years, those other EV companies will cause the extinction of Tesla motors.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    Boilerhog146 and JaredTheDragon like this.
  12. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,159   +1,611

    So why has Musk announced that volunteers can expect a one-way journey to Mars? I certainly welcome your comments, however, I stand by mine. Jihadists offer a one-way trip to paradise. Musk is not even offering paradise.

    What, someone died during the superbowl?

    I am sure you also know that the winners will be personally enriched and entertained from this point forward. Hell, they might even get invited to the WH!
    Boilerhog146 likes this.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,154   +3,465

    Let's say just for a moment, that have an IQ of 75 and I agree with you.

    Then, let's say I have an average to above average IQ.

    Then let's deal with knowns:

    1: Musk is a foreign national

    2: The spy satellite Space-X lost, was of classified purpose.

    3: The satellite could have been tasked,(probably was, in fact), as an intelligence gathering tool..

    4: The satellite could have been tasked for surveillance of countries other than the US, and other countries could have been adversed to that outcome

    5: Musk will do just about anything for money.

    So, as far fetched as that might sound, it makes your analogy with the Eagles sound completely insane and asinine.

    That being said, the only reason athletes compete is to win. Winning brings their accomplishments to light. So at best, that results in a chicken or the egg paradox for your conclusion.
    Boilerhog146 and wiyosaya like this.
  14. It really feels like he has hurt you personally cranky, you seriously hate this guy.

    The ZUMA satellite you cannot blame on anyone because no one is talking but from the information available so far it actually looks like a failure for the satellite to separate which was a Northrop Grumman responsibility.

    This is such a huge achievement and congratulations to the 6000 staff plus Elon who made this happen.

    Feel like everyone is pissy because they don't have their own rocket companies to send cars to space.
  15. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,159   +1,611


    2022 is a fanatical date for a Mars trip given current technology. If he hits that, his comments in the above article "Be prepared to die" would be much better worded, you will die!

    Excuse me? Sending a car worth $250K to space is pissy - as in showing how much wealth you have, how little you value it, and how you are willing to piss it away when there are other humans suffering to whom $250K might mean the difference between life and death.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,154   +3,465

    A couple of points. "Falcon Heavy", still had less thrust than a Saturn V

    Musk's Tesla is supposed to tour the solar system, or orbit the sun, or something Whatever it does wind up doing, it has no function other than to glorify Musk. Usually, when an entity, be it corporate or a country, pisses away that much money on a launch, it is expected that it will further our knowledge of space.

    What you have here, is some piece of sh!t electric car, wandering in space doing nothing. The next thing you know Musk will want to shoot one of his "superchargers" toward it, to make sure cit continues to play the same boring Bowie song, over and over.

    I guess that might depend on who bolted the stages together, and who designed the explosive bolts. Of course, Musk says it wasn't Space-X's fault,and according to you, than automatically makes it true

    I love the fanbois here, who think they're on a first name basis with him.

    And I feel you're pissy because he's your tin god, not mine.

    So, why don't you visit NASA's https://www.nasa.gov site, and learn what space missions do, other than orbit some crap hole's toy car.
    Boilerhog146 and JaredTheDragon like this.
  17. Ean Mogg

    Ean Mogg TS Enthusiast Posts: 93   +40

    Bet the car runs out battery power before it gets to Mars or areas close to lol
  18. Everyone is pissy, they are attacking Elon when this is about SpaceX's achievements...........

    Seriously the car was a prototype which would never be sold and is his car so who is anyone to say what he does with it. This will create more positive PR for him than I think anyone really understands and what gets funding (yes from the government) is cheap reliable rockets with public support.

    Seriously he is smashing it out..... haters gonna hate dude.
    Kenrick and Charles Olson like this.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,154   +3,465

    Throughout history, people have not always be able to differentiate between philosophers and imbeciles. A tradition which you carry proudly forward into the 21st century. (y)
    Boilerhog146 likes this.
  20. That was once again just a personal attack rather than anything about the article, they launched a rocket successfully today, gained some great PR and that took a lot of hard work from a lot of people much smarter than your self ;)

    Once again congratulations SpaceX.
    Charles Olson and antgr like this.
  21. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 720   +456

    Couple of other points about Saturn V:

    - It is a single use rocket which becomes a giant trash can afterwards
    - Costs $1.16 billion per launch in today's money
    - We can no longer make it without bloating NASA with Pentagon size budget for few years
    Charles Olson and OortCloud like this.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,154   +3,465

    This is attached to a fallacy with Musk's reusable boosters. Out of pure curiosity, I would like to know what percentage of fuel needs to be saved to land the rocket. If you're not going to save the booster, then obviously, you can run the tanks dry.

    With respect to VTOL in in aircraft. Even the British launch the Harrier from a ramp on their carriers, because vertical takeoff wastes a ton of fuel. The same is true for landings.

    It can't relate directly, since the rocket booster's tanks are so much bigger in relation to its empty weight. But I"m not sure it can be completely ignored. The amount of extra payload would equal the amount of fuel needed to saved for landing
    Here I question if Space-X's costs have been reduced by the amount of research money pumped into the moon landing project. After all, NASA is sharing their research with these private companies.

    Then too, you can more than likely do launch trajectory and other related maths, on one of today's laptops, as opposed to a roomful of lab workers in white lab coats and "Eniac" vacuum tube computers.

    Our government wanted the moon landing done, no matter what the costs. Contractors were pretty much given blank checks to bring the project to fruition. I doubt it would cost 1.1 billion in today's money to build a Saturn V, even if cost versus inflation indicate that that was the case in the past

    Here's the page on the "guidance computers" aboard the lunar vehicles: Read the specs. No doubt you'll be amazed, astonished, or appalled. Possibly all three. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer
    We're pumping a lot of "off budget" money into Space-X.

    If we allocated money for NASA into the budget, we'd have to explain why there wasn't enough money to feed and breed new generations of Obama voters in our ghettos, not to mention Medicare and prescription drug plans for an aging population.. In fact, that's (IIRC) why NASA's budget was cut so dramatically, in large part to fund social entitlements.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  23. Manuel Diego

    Manuel Diego TS Booster Posts: 53   +64

    I would not discard the 75 IQ option too quickly:

    Charles Olson likes this.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,154   +3,465

    For you, or me? <(See how easy it is to make all your "clever" go away)?

    Musk carries triple citizenship:

    • South Africa (1971–present)
    • Canada (1989–present)
    • United States (2002–present)
    And it would appear that he is South African the longest.

    In a broader sense, and not referring directly to Musk, someone who has become a naturalized citizen, can still be an enemy of the state.\

    As for IQ, mine is much higher than 75, but I doubt if your's is as high as you're trying to make it seem.

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  25. Manuel Diego

    Manuel Diego TS Booster Posts: 53   +64

    I know it's hard to understand!
    DaveBG likes this.

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