I've seen the much-touted $90M price-tag for the FH launch, but does that take into account loss of the core or boosters?
The core actually had older ablative grid fins made of aluminium so no great loss there.
Your typical mechanical engineer fresh out of school has incredibly limited experience when it comes to things that are not stupid-proof to work with (engineering programs have other priorities). They then go on to build specialized knowledge in various subjects and usually more on the design side, not the execution side. Of course someone who designs plastic molds or simulated impeller designs all day is going to create a black box around things that aren't their specialty. You don't care about how the impeller or mold is made other than knowing that it can be made, what its material properties are and knowing that actually making it involves a bunch of details you don't know so you offload it to a 3rd parts (for the same reasons someone else is having you design the impeller or the mold).
A bunch of engineers and otherwise smart people on the internet saying that titanium is like computer programmers saying residential electrical is complicated or web devs complaining about bash. It really doesn't mean much but people who have no experience with this things tend to think the people who only have a shred know what they're talking about.
It's not difficult. Most other people just know they don't know how to do it and that they don't know what they'd need to know to go about learning how.
The mental image of it leaking so much fuel on the ground such that it needed immediate refuelling is a myth propagated extensively on the internet.
I had a quick search and found the KC135 chap who says the refuelling was needed due to leaks, but without being rude to him I'm not sure he's really a qualified source for that information. It sounds more to me like 2+2=5.
I'm procrastinating so lets do some napkin maths, the claim is
1) a significant amount of fuel is leaking out of the expansion gaps,
2) climbing up to 25,000 ft at 300 knots would heat the airframe enough to seal those gaps,
3) there would still be sufficient expansion room to allow for travelling at M3.2
Ignoring that no engineer would be happy with 1.
For 2...Total Air Temp = Static Air Temp + Ram Rise. At 25,000 ft the static air temperature is about -35 C.
Ram rise for a true airspeed of 300 kts:
RamRise = V^2 / 87^2 = 300^2 / 87^2 = 12 degrees.
So skin temperature at typical refuelling altitude would be -23 C
Titanium has an expansion coefficient of 9E-69 meters per meter-kelvin. So approximating rather grossly, assuming a s tarting temperature of 20 C over the 33 m length of the plane there would be a contraction of about 1 cm.
And for 3:
The aircraft then accelerates up to 1900 knots.
RamRise = 1900^2 / 87^2 = 470 degrees
Static air temp at over 60000 ft is roughly -55 C. So skin temperature would be 420 C. So assuming the same length and starting temp, the plane would expand by around 11 cm
So to summarise: According to the claims, at ground level and temperature the expansion gaps were large enough to significantly leak fuel. After take-off the aircraft needs to be refuelled immediately. Assuming this is done so (i.e. take-off, climb to 20,000, refuel) then the skin temperature is lower than ground level, and the expansion gaps should have grown ever so slightly. The aircraft then climbs up to its M3.2 cruise point and everything expands significantly "as designed" and the gaps disappear.
Perhaps the anecdote we'll see on the internet now is that the SR-71 had to take off and go supersonic to rapidly heat up the skin before briefly decelerating to refuel, but the refuel had to be done super fast to stop the skin cooling down too far...
From your source:
"Fuselage panels were manufactured to fit only loosely on the ground. Proper alignment was achieved as the airframe heated up and expanded several inches. Because of this, and the lack of a fuel-sealing system that could handle the airframe's expansion at extreme temperatures, the aircraft leaked JP-7 fuel on the ground prior to takeoff."
If you dig past the internet comments and read some of the "primary source" books, the picture of the leaks is very different. I can't remember the exact book I read it in, but the author states there was a tank sealant, and it lasted around 50 hours (I think), before it needed to be replaced.
This is somewhat backed up by the Jenkins book  which talks about the time consuming process of replacing sealant, and the Graham book  that is the source for the Wikipedia claims on expansion. It talks of different sealants used, and how leaks were precisely noted and collected in _shallow_ drip trays.
They are however interested in recovering the grid fins on the side boosters, which were redesigned to accommodate for the nose cones now sitting on top of them.
But yeah, that's just a question from my mind. This launch was amazing, the future in the making right here.
Almost (if not) all missions include changes of some kind; the manufacturing blocks each have significant, incompatible differences in parts.
Upgrading the grid fins would be a minor version change, modifying the engine to increase its throttle depth a major one. I don't know, but it seems like there would need to be significant re-tooling for each new block, and many parts would be incompatible with previous blocks.
Perhaps some piece of metal is showing more fatigue than they'd like to see, or a wire had damage to the insulation from a vibration. I'm sure that's the sort of thing they'll be looking at.
After all if you can make a hefty profit while still undercutting the competition you're basically winning at capitalism.
Yes, you do. Or at least, that's what they want to do. They've already reflown a bunch of their landed rockets, including the two boosters on Falcon Heavy. The ultimate goal is to be able to fill it up and relaunch, and the ultimate motivation for propulsive landing is simple - that's what is needed on Mars (parachutes won't do much there), so they want to master it.
EDIT: I meant that today, with Falcon Heavy Test Flight behind us, the two side boosters qualify as reflown - this was their second mission, not the third.
The left booster "originally launched on July 18, 2016 in support of the CRS-9 mission, and landed back at LZ-1". The right booster "originally launched on May 27, 2016 in support of the Thaicom 8 mission. Notably, it earned the nickname "Leaning Tower of Thaicom"; having developed a significant lean upon a hard first landing."
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/7vg63x/rspacex_falc... linking to details of:
- https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/wiki/cores#wiki_b1025 - left booster
- https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/wiki/cores#wiki_b1023 - right booster
This has been gone ove many times, but:
Parachutes aren't cheap or easy.
Saltwater is horrible for precision parts.
They are trying to gas and go, or at least move, gas and full power test.
Arianespace (a major european launch company, known for the Ariane 5) has developed their own new engine concept for reusability, which is designed to be restarted unlimited times. Once Prometheus flies, they’ll not only have a reusable rocket comparable to the Falcon 9, but one that can fly, land, be refueled without checkup, and immediately fly again.
SpaceX also aims for that in the long run, but not in the Falcon 9 series itself.
Sounds like they are not that committed to the project and if it happens at all it will be a long way off. Will it be worth competing with both SpaceX and Blue Origin?
“We could replace Vulcain 2.1 by Prometheus,” Bonguet told SpaceNews. “Or Prometheus can be the first brick to build the next generation. We will see where we are in 2025 or 2030, and then decide on the right time whether to go one way or the other.”
If Arianespace follows that schedule, they’ll be a decade late compared to SpaceX, but still ahead of all other competitors in this.
Prometheus or not, Ariane 6 is an expendable rocket in any form that currently or will soon exist. By the time they figure out the very basics of first-stage reusability on a launcher that is roughly equivalent to Falcon 9 FT, SpaceX will have BFR ... likely for quite a while.
At least their reusability plans are not a joke like ULA.
That seems to imply they were trying to do a 3-engine landing, which they tested recently in the 'failed to expend the rocket' incident. This might explain why they miscalculated the igniter requirement since they don't have much experience with 3-engine landings.
I wonder how much longer the '3 engine burn' was for the GovSat launch last week that did a 'water landing'
And the ship has taken far bigger poundings in the past, one of them blew a huge hole in the deck.
Watching the other boosters land was really impressive.
“Of Course I Still Love You” is the name of a spacecraft in The Culture, a series of novels that inspired Elon Musk when he was young.
When I saw the first successful booster landing on a drone ship I realized I was again watching history.
Live Webcam from Spaceman:
(...yes I do know it is the ol Sol)
I'm not sure what happened that was new here other than the PR of putting a car into solar orbit. They landed their 20 something rocket vertically. They crashed another one or something.
It just seems like a lot of expense and science to stop at a normal camera.
Do you even begin to appreciate the challenges in getting a 4-8k feed from space to earth?
I've been in the video business from '95 to 2015 and there is so much going on behind the scenes from even a simple live stream from a spacecraft to earth that I am wondering what it would have taken for you to be satisfied. FWIW I've personally done the Internet portion of two Space shuttle launches live-stream to earth and I can tell you that nothing about such an event is 'simple' by any stretch of the imagination. 2.5 million people watched that stream and it 'just worked'.
This never was about the quality of the feed (which is nothing short of amazing by the way), but about testing a new rocket. The fact that only one of the three first stages didn't make it is also quite impressive.
Yes, it was PR. But given the amount of work that went into this I figure they were entitled a bit of leeway.
This comment is totally out of place on a site like this, and it makes me wonder (1) what incredible stuff you've been up to today and (2) whether or not you are even remotely aware of any of the complexity a feat like today's launch entails to put you in a position to criticize any of this rather than to accept it in gratitude and wonder.
Keep in mind that according to Elon Musk there was a 50% chance the whole thing blew up on the pad I'd say they got their priorities right and spent what time and budget they had on the main item rather than on the PR bit.
Then again he calculated it, which is more than we can say for the countless teenagers trying to flip bottles in on their tables for views.
I hope one day to be as good at both engineering and PR as SpaceX is.
Hopefully we will get a corrected version for the official movie!
The live (uncorrected) version for comparison:
Nevertheless :) FH first launch is an impressive feat.
My non tech interested wife was cheering for both boosters to land safely. “What world am I in!?”
Thanks SpaceX for making us excited about space again.
The original Star Wars was made in 1977, and based heavily on World War 2 combat films (much of the space combat and the trench run on the Death Star was lifted - sometimes shot for shot - from a film called "The Dam Busters.") For reasons of continuity and tone, that mechanical aesthetic can't ever change much throughout the franchise, or else it wouldn't "look" like Star Wars.
But the point is that it's exciting, it's visceral, the archetypes of the fighter pilot and joystick and of buttons that do important things make sense to the audience, and as a result those scenes can convey emotion though the use of familiar visual language.
Sci-fi was never "connected" to the future, and it was never (or at least, never explicitly) about attempting to accurately describe or predict the future. Yes, you could have replaced the ships and pilots in Star Wars with remote or AI controlled drones, not colored in the blasters, etc, and it might be more realistic, but no one would enjoy watching it.
People do enjoy dogfights (and spaceships that bank when they turn) and space wizards with laser swords doing flippy shit and punching each other with telekinesis, though.
Or maybe software technology was lost and they are only able to use extremely rudimentary systems...
Except that fully sentient AI is already commonplace in the form of droids, including battle droids.
This is a universe where a small robot that only speaks in clicks and whistles had to physically transport holographic "data tapes" about a moon-sized space station that can travel faster than light. A lot of it doesn't make sense when you think about it, but then it's supposed to be Flash Gordon with the serial numbers filed off.
> Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking
> A science fantasy is a cross-genre within the umbrella of speculative fiction which simultaneously draws upon and/or combines tropes and elements from both science fiction and fantasy
Star Wars is 100% science fiction.
Star Wars is not science fiction, it is fantasy or mythology in a science-fictional setting. It is fusion cuisine.
> teleological view of the Universe.
Almost all fiction is almost completely teleological. Nothing ever happens by accident in fiction, everything that happens has a human motivational cause. The characters' incredibly improbable and complicated schemes almost never fail by accident as they very likely actually would but always due to confrontation or betrayal. (See also: political narratives.) The human brain just cannot help but pay attention to sex, alliances, confrontation and betrayal.
The Force being with you by birth is a bad theme because it takes away the humanity of the people that have it. They succeed or fail in part not because of their intentions but because of magic stuff they happen to have that you cannot have. It's painful to watch.
A great deal of success or failure in real life comes down to legacy, genetics and random chance, or "non-magical stuff" other people have that you cannot.
Also, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a great movie about a great example why you do not pilot your ships with computers all the time.
Also, you do not know what the future holds. You are living in the present, not the future, where we very well may have pilots piloting ships.
Star Wars is not science fiction and it does not take place in the future. We are not living in the future either.
No, it merely illustrates why you want your AI properly bottled up and airgapped that way the flight computer will follow your instructions after you consult with the AI (assuming an AI is ever built...).
Computers can control spacecraft just fine in the present without AI so really there does not seem to be a pressing need for this.
Source: Andrew Howard of SpaceX, who is in charge of this software and has to endure the stress of each rendezvous. Screwing up could kill the ISS crew.
Unless your connection confirmed that the onboard computer of the SpaceX Dragon capsule is sentient.
I was just providing evidence against the claim of the last paragraph of your previous message.
While you are waiting for AI that meets your specs, the world is flying real spacecraft with software that most people are happy to call AI right now.
Instead of a daemon, call it a djinn?
I didn't say that at all. It is in the past, and also, it is not science fiction. Star Wars is quite fantasy, offering no explanation in science for the force, hyperspace, lightsabers, etc.
I love Star Wars with all my heart. But it is not about the future and it is not science fiction. It takes place "a long time ago" and it centers around magical, unexplained powers.
> Isn't the key part of Sci-fi that it contains a society that has in some way advanced beyond our own?
No, I don't agree with this at all. I would even say that in nearly all science fiction published, the societies have not advanced beyond our own that much - or if they have, they are also demonstrated to be far behind us in other ways. Science fiction is a lot of things, but certainly there is no requirement for it to show a more advanced society than ours.
Likewise the key part of Romance genre fiction is the Happy Ending. It doesn't matter whether they sleep together (a lot of Romance aimed at older and Christian readers doesn't have any sex at all), or get married, but there must be a Happy Ending.
I've almost lost hope around the end of the Space Shuttle program. I thought it will be only satellites, ISS and occasional science probe launches. SpaceX single-handedly restored my faith in the future of space activities again, and with other player on the scene, we now have realistic hope of seeing an actual industry in space within our lifetimes.
Arianespace has spent years developing new rocket engines specifically for reusability, and has started building prototype rockets.
Bezos’ company has mastered landing, and is directly building their mars rocket.
In 5 years we’ll likely see at least 3 major companies up there with SpaceX, and true competition in space.
Moreover, there's lots of companies in every vertical needed for bootstrapping the industry - ground services, satellites, in-space manufacturing, asteroid prospecting & mining... all in the early stage, all betting on cheaper access to space than it was just few years ago. We're in a critical moment where things suddenly start adding up and - I hope - will form something great!
It rather looks as if the tail-landing reusable booster stage is a "steam engine" type of eureka form factor, and everyone's going to be doing it. Yay!
Wonder what success of FH would do to works on BFR? If BFR would be as successful as Musk writes, would SpaceX make two rockets - or optimization will lead to just one?
BFR/BFS will come online as a self-competitive offering from SpaceX initially and both lines will be out in the market together (BFR vs. F9/FH). If and when BFR attains sufficient maturity, reliability, and market trust then the Falcon line of rockets will be phased out. BFR will have much greater capabilities (higher payloads, etc.) but will be substantially cheaper because it'll be 100% reusable and the reusability longevity for its parts will be much higher than for F9/FH, so there won't really be much reason to keep Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy around.
However, the FH uses RP-1-O2 Merlin engines, whereas the BFR will use Methane-O2 Raptor engines, so they might not learn too much.
Edit: RP-1 fuel.
If BFR is actually fully reusable it would be cheaper to launch than the F9 (due to the non-reused second stage).
And the landing shots are just damn cool.
And yet, some call him "visionary" or "genius" :)
It is much too easy to disparage an optimisation as unimportant compared to some hypothetical "original" idea of which it is a refinement, and we should not do this, especially to try to claim credit for people we know at the cost of those far away we've never heard of.
The "original" inventions behind recorded music, the telephone, the incandescent light bulb, and numerous other obvious examples are poor shadows of the commercially successful item that means we know them today. We honour many of the people who refined these items as "geniuses" today, often pretending to ourselves that they invented them rather than merely refining the work of others, this does everybody involved a disservice, and it disparages the real contribution of people (in China and elsewhere) optimising today's inventions. The flat panel display you're almost certainly reading this on is the product of _millions_ of such optimisations.
Maybe 1000 years from now, people look at us and say god damn it. I wish they had stayed there and learned how to live in earth well. We are now speared all over the place and we all hate hate each other; and just right now I hear Martian went ahead and annexed Venus and they also seem to be interfering in Andromeda elections.
The launches are cheaper because of the breakthrough in being able to reuse the rockets by landing them.
That's the exact opposite of copying.
I'm not trying to be negative, just trying to understand how you came to the conclusion you did.
In a theoretical world where we could just beam anything into earth orbit, unmanned interplanetary spaceflight would likely be an expensive hobby instead of something only governments attempt.
If by "hobby" you mean doing something for fun or personal growth, with only vague - if any - expectations of future usefulness, then no. SpaceX was aimed at getting us to Mars from the day 1; it's their entire raison d'être. Musk bootstrapped it with his own cash because he also set this goal - getting humanity to Mars.
If by "hobby" you mean doing something meaningful instead of just making moar money - then sure.
Maybe you could argue the Falcon 1 was an expensive hobby, but interplanetary spaceflight is certainly not.
When I saw that, all I could think about was seeing hundreds of those and that scene being as mundane as a plane landing.
The live (uncorrected) version for comparison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8wxV-lUsZg
https://youtu.be/wbSwFU6tY1c?t=37m10s "even though those look very similar those ... are representative of different boosters"
I think you're right.
If it were two different cameras we'd see two different landing pads. In the end of the video both feeds are coming down on the northern pad.
Edit: Here's the sat image from december with notes added https://imgur.com/a/u6sLs
Since they are on the same rocket, you see them land on the same pad.
The rockets have redundant cameras, and through a probable misconfiguration we saw two feeds from two cameras on one rocket.
Wasn't intentional, but oops.
So, whats to stop them attaching an additional two (or more) to the existing rocket now that they have the basic synchronization worked out.
No better way to learn basic orbital dynamics out there.
(Hell, I might even be among them.)
Also love seeing machinists side by side cheering with software engineers, standing by a mission control which is placed feet from where engines are assembled on the shop floor.
Open company culture well-executed.
Congratulations to all there!
Why in the world would someone agree to be a reference and then bad mouth afterwards? Some folks...
I've seen lots of engineers become 'bad engineers' because of a myriad of environmental issues (bad management, bad peers, bad office, bad engineering decisions foisted upon them).
If you didn't see them perform well, don't provide a reference. If they are that bad, nobody in a reputable position will provide them a reference and the hiring company will see that.
It's not your responsibility to be an arbiter of some ex-coworker's life.
The problem was BlueOrigin’s reference-questionnaire. One of my references shared it with me afterwards. It’s a stock template - except pretty much all the questions seem contrived to find reasons not to hire someone. One of the questions was along the lines of “On a percentage scale where would you rank [candidate] relative to other people you have worked with?” (Which is s problem if you’re a relatively poor player in a high-performing team). Another was (almost verbatim) “Please provide a reason why we should not hire [candidate]?” (As opposed to “Can you think of a reason?” - I was surprised that the question straight-up assumes there is a reason).
BlueOrigin’s cooldown period is 2 years which is long for Seattle, when you consider SpaceX’s is 1 year and Google can be 6 months. My recruiter at BlueOrigin did tell me to re-apply though and gave me his card. I’ll think about it.
In the interests of honesty - I will say that I am not a model employee and I do have productivity problems - I’m sure that my references gave honest answers with good intentions and I accept that I’m probably not BlueOrigin-material: I have punctuality problems, I’ll spend half a day procrastinating then working late until 1am to make up for it, and I stilll often go on code refactoring crusades without telling anyone. Sometimes I think I wouldn’t even hire me anyway :)
They were the only company to ask in the interview about my college GPA (which wasn't good, I still don't remember the exact number and didn't at the time but it's below 3) and I didn't get an offer. But I'm kind of like you, naturally a slacker but in my jobs I've always managed to put out work that satisfies everyone it needs to (including myself, sometimes, but other times...) and meet deadlines, so 'tsall good.
Your last bit reminds me of a quote "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member". It's hard to accept praise or feel belonging knowing the full depths of one's faults which are only improving slowly. ;)
My biggest surprise was that they were (and I assume still are) running Windows 7 on their dev boxes.
Wait what? This seems like a big red flag to me.
I assume it was a sneaky way of finding out whether the person suffered from any recurring health condition, and I refused to answer it.
That does look like a terrible question. Without context, team organisation, and work history for the reference person, the answer is meaningless... Not even if you're poor performing. If that person just happens to work with amazing people, of course you'd be rated lower.
Think outside the box. Reply with, "No."
Don't let other's words shape who you are.
Depending on what this company wanted, it's entirely possible that something I said during that call would've influenced the company's hiring decision, though I was obviously trying to portray my friend in the best light possible given the context.
I don't know if BlueOrigin has a similar process or not, but it's not necessarily that the reference was intentionally giving a negative report; they could've just picked up on something the reference said and felt it didn't mesh with the position.
Spoiler: my friend got the job, supposedly in part due to my good reference. Phew! I would've hated to be the one that got blamed for "bad mouthing" him.
The other hosts are great, but if you told me they were hired actors or PR people I'd believe it.
It also does not mean people will actually change in such a way that they won't think someone 'looks like an engineer' or 'looks live a TV star', they just won't say it out loud. Instead they'll say it among friends they know they can trust, more vehemently than they'd have done if this type of speech were not taboo.
I can only hope that the hyper-sensitivity currently found in the public sphere will pass when enough people from enough parts of society speak up against it. If it doesn't we're in for troubled times as it touches something which lies at the core of the enlightened western society, freedom of speech and expression. Those are precious things, too precious to squander.
I would never want to censor anyone. I'm just asking people to think about what kind of effect their words can have. I have the right to say that just as much as someone has the right to comment on who does or does not look like a rocket scientist.
I find this rhetoric overblown, as it doesn't match the results of serious inquiry into the topic.
> Cross-cultural consistency of sex differences for four traits: extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, and male-versus-female-typical occupational preferences. Men and women differed on all four traits. 200,000 participants from 53 nations.
> Only sex predicted means for all four traits, and sex predicted trait means much more strongly than did gender equality or the interaction between sex and gender equality. These results suggest that biological factors may contribute to sex differences in personality and that culture plays a negligible to small role in moderating sex differences in personality.
Also, you're ignoring cultural factors. See this article: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/stubborn-obstacle... There are and have been many societies in which women were much better represented in technical fields than they are today in the US. How do you explain that if it's all supposedly just innate biological differences? In the USSR a majority of engineers were women, and the reason for it was actually very logical: Men are stronger and are more suitable for physical labor, and women are thus more suitable for knowledge jobs.
And there are many character traits that men have on average more than women that make them worse engineers. A higher prevalence of mental illness, for starters. More of a tendency to be overly verbally combative and thus detrimental to team functioning. Less ability to focus on "boring" tasks and study, which is why you now see girls dominating boys in school performance at all levels, kindergarten through university.
Who is more "suited" to be an engineer is an entirely different discussion that is not even close to being resolved. What I was talking about was the very real fact that most women in tech experience gender-related discrimination that makes them feel unwelcome. That assuredly has a real effect and is on less shaky grounds than arguing from biological factors.
But I don't want to get drawn into this discussion because I really do have lots of work to get done today. Just refer to everything that was said in the wake of Damore -- I'm sure we wouldn't cover any new ground that wasn't already covered then.
> 3233 young and old adolescents representative of the population
> For the young adolescents, the observed difference in Mechanical Reasoning is equivalent to 10 IQ points, and this difference increases to 13 IQ points for the old adolescents.
> Beyond the observed small average sex difference in the general factor of intelligence (g), the boys' large advantage in mechanical reasoning (MR) must be strongly underscored. This sex difference is not explained by g, and therefore the probable contributions of what is measured by relevant subtests such as abstract reasoning (AR) or spatial relations (SR) can be excluded. The MR difference is still present with almost the same magnitude when the general factor of intelligence (g) is removed. It is also noteworthy that, for the old adolescents, more than half of the variance associated with numerical reasoning (NR) cannot be attributed to g. Thus, we suggest that mental processes captured by these psychological measures are behind the documented male advantage in STEM disciplines
An observed standard deviation of sex difference in measures of mechanical reasoning at the average of the distribution.
You yourself are being quite hypersensitive about someone having the temerity to raise the issue of harmful stereotyping, and you’re appearing to attempt to stifle the speech of those who would do that. The irony meter is pegged off the scale. I believe the comment that kicked off the long discussion was pretty measured and backed up by experience. So perhaps it’s OK to chill a bit and just let the views be aired in a relaxed way, without adding drama to the non-drama.
That's become the standard of public conversations in the past 10-15 years. Unfortunately, I don't think it is likely to change anytime soon, since there's more and more involvement from politicians as well to make "saying the wrong thing" in public something worth being sued for. I see this happen in many different countries that claim to be "democracies" even though they have free speech as part of their principles.
Social Media enabled out rage mobs and a perpetual victim class has lead to more censorship than any government could ever hope for. If you are guilty of wrong think today you will be jobless, homeless, and a social outcast.
How far have we come from the days of "I disagree with you but I respect your right to say it" to "I disagree with you now I will boycott your employer, get you fired, get you kicked out of your home, and ensure all organizations/clubs/companies ban you from their events and platforms"
Sad days indeed
And he's beautiful...
Some people have all the luck.
Because they are young and good looking and good at public speaking?
Sorry to call you out like this, but these kinds of prejudices about who is the "correct" kind of person for tech jobs are harmful and discouraging to the people who don't fit the stereotypes, and helps contribute to keeping them out of the field.
I guess it depends if you're looking more for entertainment or information.
Most companies would require it.
Maybe parent was referring to their mannerisms, rather than their appearance. It's not fair to jump to the assumption that parent was showing a bias against any of those variations in the human species.
- "looks like" is associated with physical appearance - possibly things like clothes, jewelry, gender, hair, skin color, face, etc.
- "sounds like" is associated with their speech - tone, accent, choice of diction
- "acts like" is associated with physical behavior + speech
But anyway, I think the point is that, we don't know what mabbo's intent was and 95% likely it was totally benign, but CydeWes is pointing out that saying things like that has a harmful effect by propagating certain stereotypes.
Pointing out someone's implicit biases is not necessarily a personal attack on them. Everyone has them so we should welcome when people point them out (unless done in an mean-spirited or aggressive fashion).
Personally, when I read mabbo's comment, I thought, "Yeah, so true, good point!", then I read the next comment and I thought, "Oh right, thanks for pointing that out to me".
It should be obvious that aesthetic stereotypes go far beyond race and gender. Here's 2 very stereotypically different white guys: http://ricerfiles.gizmore.org/images/20160629/28030-human-ha...
and this: https://i1.adis.ws/i/Superdry_com/NS_MP_Hoodies_hb_right?qlt...
But to some people, they only think in race/gender/orientaion terms. We should fix that.
At the end of one of my onsite interviews, while showing me out the door, the interviewer turned to me with a big smile and said "you really look like you fit in around here". I almost burst out laughing.
I guarantee he had no malice but I just found it funny for one tall, white dude with glasses to say that to another tall, white dude with glasses. And he was right, I did blend in pretty well.
You might argue that perhaps he wasn't referring to my appearance but rather my uhhh.... hand gestures while talking, but at some point you have to call a spade a spade.
I left without saying anything just because I feel awkward sometimes, but in retrosepct, I should have said something. He was so good-natured, I'm sure he would have genuinely appreciated me pointing out that certain people might find his words harmful.
A good example of a qualified hire quitting just after six months is Chris Lattner who quit because "... Tesla isn't a good fit for me after all." . You are free to Google the personality clashes which made it difficult for him to continue at Tesla.
 https://medium.com/@joehewitt/entrepreneurship-or-lack-there... - original deleted but archived from Google's cache here: http://archive.is/1aDdk
I wish I could upvote this 1000 times. We all have implicit biases, and they are often a product of society rather than personal failures. It is painful when you suddenly notice your own shortcomings. But the desired response isn't "omg I'm horrible", it's "I can try to fix this in myself, and think about how to fix it in the whole culture for future generations."
That would work to.
I personally perfect the more charitable approach.
Yes in very strict sense, but many people use "looks like", "sounds like" and so on interchangeably. I say "your proposal sounds good" even though proposal was sent by email and I didn't mean it is pleasing to my ears, melodic and soothing - I mean its content is OK. So we should not overanalyze and imply meaning that the author may not have put there. "Looks like" may just mean "gives general impression, by appearance, behavior, speech patterns, actions, etc." not necessarily excluding non-visual inputs. Human speech is not always precise.
That said, I agree that we should not have biases like if somebody, say, looks good on TV (and here again I don't mean just pretty face or nice clothes but more overall competent communicative behavior) they must be TV actor or hired comm person and can't possibly be genuine engineer. It's true that many engineers are awkward and some are socially inept, but that shouldn't be required. One can be a good engineer and a good presenter and a good communicator.
The phrase "looks like" is commonly used as short hand for "seems like", "feels like", "gives the impression of", etc. It would be the same as if someone said they "appeared to be" professional actors, that doesn't necessarily indicate that it's based on visual cues.
Seems like bad form to assign malice to someone based on a likely misinterpretation of their comments, then accuse them of racism and sexism.
White men have made up the majority of the scientists and engineers we’ve been exposed to in the past, so we associate the mannerisms of white men with them. Women and POC haven’t, so we don’t associate traits common to them with the persona we expect of those professions.
We all have biases. The important takeaway is that it isn't about blame or accusations, it's about highlighting when bias appears so that people become more aware of when and how their unconscious associations might be coloring their thinking.
Edit: grammar and rephrasing to allow for the inclusion of the phrase "beginning to get on my tits".
Whoa there. They launched a rocket, one not even heavier than the 50 year old Saturn V. This is not the most amazing thing that ever happened ever.
There's now a stereotype being applied, and you're the one that did it.
Even if you're arguing against it, that's not a positive thing to do.
You're assuming the parent was biased against something, and I'm suggesting that the parent discovered some mannerisms were not as indicative of a specific profession as they thought, and said so.
> The other hosts are great, but if you told me they were hired actors or PR people I'd believe it.
Let me phrase it a different and rude (sorry) way. "You know they're including real engineers because there is at least one person in the spotlight that would never be employed by a PR firm."
That's exactly what the parent said. Let me quote it for you:
> He doesn't look like a TV star, he looks like an engineer, a rocket scientist. He looks real.
The implication being that the other hosts looked fake, not like engineers or rocket scientists but like PR people.
I think you're being overly charitable here, but even if you're right and your interpretation is correct, the original phrasing lends itself towards a worse interpretation that many other people (including me) picked up on. Precise communication is especially important around areas that are problematic for tech like diversity in our workforce, so if he had meant to compliment the rocket scientists on their poise he should have said exactly that, not implying that they don't look real (unlike the older white guy who fits all the stereotypes of being a rocket scientist).
You made the same incorrect jump! The implication is only that he's definitely not in PR so he's probably a real engineer. The others have the looks to be in PR (which is why he "wouldn't be surprised" if someone said they were). Yet he never said they couldn't also be real engineers.
They are just attractive enough that it's ambiguous as to whether or not they are real engineers or just PR folks.
If there are outfits where you can say "X% of engineers wear this, while Y% < X% of salespeople wear this", then someone wearing that outfit provides evidence (weak or strong depending on the values of X and Y) that they are an engineer. Contrariwise, if there's some other outfit where X% of engineers < Y% of salespeople wear it, then that's evidence for the wearer being in sales. Furthermore, since all the X's and Y's must add to 100% when taken across all outfits, if there are any outfits where X < Y, then there must be some outfits where X > Y.
If there is some pattern of visually obvious signs that, say, 30% of engineers show and only 1% of non-engineers show, then it follows that 99% of non-engineers and 70% of engineers show every other pattern of signs. Which means that, if you see someone showing some other pattern of signs, and you don't know anything except that it's not the abovementioned pattern that 30% of engineers show, then your knowledge logically implies that it's somewhat less likely (1.4 to 1 odds ratio) that they're an engineer. (Maybe someone else knows more than you, and could say that this pattern is actually also a strong signal of "engineer"—let's say it's even stronger, that 2% of engineers are like that and 0% of everyone else is. But the above statement about your knowledge remains accurate. Also, that would imply that the set of all other patterns is expressed by 68% of engineers and 99% of non-engineers, making the average of all other patterns a slightly stronger signal of "non-engineer".) That is a relatively diffuse signal, of course. If someone's very good at recognizing engineer-specific traits, and can see them in, say, 80% of engineers, then the average signal value of "all not-obviously-engineer traits" would be a strong "not an engineer". Or if someone can only recognize "definitely an engineer" traits in 2% of engineers, then that's only a 1.02 to 1 odds ratio for someone who doesn't show those "definitely an engineer" traits.
In conclusion, statements of the form "I can look at some people and conclude that they're very likely an engineer" logically imply statements of the form "There are other people I could look at and be less confident they're an engineer". The quantities—how much less confident—depend on the details.
I'm curious: (1) Do you think all statements of the form "Engineers are more likely to exhibit visible trait X" are worth calling out? (2) If 'mabbo had stated his criteria, and they were, for example (I haven't seen the videos), "Innsprucker is wearing very informal clothes while the others are obviously dressed up", would you think that was worth calling out? (3) If the answer to 2 is no, then would it have been better to ask 'mabbo, "I'm curious what makes Innsprucker so obviously a rocket scientist", before assuming it was absence of the traits "younger, or women, or of color" and calling him out for it?
Isn't it rather biased of you to assume that being an engineer is somehow superior to being a professional actor, spokesperson, or hostess?
They served their purpose admirably, engineers or not.
In fact, engineers could stand to learn quite a bit from the rest of the people on the planet.
Some companies might have only let the people who look like them host the live stream. SpaceX put out their top people- young, old, white, black, male, female- and let them all be the faces of the launch. I don't know that my own company would be so brave.
> The other hosts are great, but if you told me they were hired actors or PR people I'd believe it.
Is 100% consistent with your statement and even implies it, since GP clearly knows that:
> They aren't PR people.
If anything, GP was insulting Innsprucker by saying he is lacking the suaveness or good-looks to be hired in PR, while the others have it all.
I think this is a good opportunity to examine where (implicit) malice was attributed but was undeserved.
yet another thread completely derailed by a meaningless and frankly irrelevant comment to the topic at hand, such as the one you made here.
perhaps if we were not hypersensitive to every little detail, engineering would be a more welcoming discipline.
I came here to read comments about this amazing achievement . so how about we focus on discussing the actual topic for a change ?
I hope I'm not the only one feeling frustrated by this trend..
Actually, you're the one who introduced these features as being relevant, and thus the only one perpetuating these features as being stereotypes right now is you.
But I went to read the comments here and the second highest comment wasn't about the magnitude of the achievement or anything like that, it was just a throw-away comment about the way the livestream's hosts look. I felt obligated to respond because the look of it was so bad. This whole thread would never have happened had that comment not been sitting so prominently on the page sans rebuttal. I'm not the one who started the conversation about looks, in other words.
Lastly, suppressing the opinion of an individual with the power of appealing to various underrepresented group identities...can you see what type of appearance this person has through a screen? I think you're showing your "biases" here.
Thoughts can be diverse too :)
I interpreted the parents comment as a joke more about the engineer not looking like a TV star than the others not looking like an engineer by the way...
So to close this comment, CANT ENGINEERS LOOK LIKE TV STARS TOO?? to which I will respond and say 'not always'.
Maybe that's a way to respond politely to implicit bias...
He said John doesn't look like an actor/PR person (which, I think you'll agree, have appearance job requirements).
Lots of people don't marry for money. And if someone marries a poor person, it pretty obvious they're not doing it for money. (Naturally, that doesn't mean they're the only one.)
OP just assumes that people don't go into tech because of what other people will think of them. It's a harmful assumption and not true either. People go into tech because it interests them. It's a choice.
Discrimination is an effect. Bias may cause discrimination, but bias in itself is not malicious.
EDIT: Of course she's also involved in FIRST :P
Which is funny because, reading the job titles given to the SpaceX announcers, my first thought is always "wow, SpaceX hires some really attractive engineers."
Might be a naive thought, but for a few minutes, you forget everything else. There were millions of people from every nation live-watching the broadcast and everyone was cheering and hoping for the best.
The world seemed at peace during that moment and this is what I love about space exploration and all these great human achievements.
Landing these things will become the standard. mmillion dollar fireworks will not. Anyways, still very impressed.
Perfect takeoff, 2 simultaneous landings (still waiting for confirmation on the droneship landing), the car is in orbit.
I don't remember being so nervous watching a launch video since... Space Shuttle missions, I think.
Great job, SpaceX!
This is all I'm watching for the rest of the day https://imgur.com/oKWTAQk
Might I suggest pairing it with Pink Floyd's _Echoes_?
- 0 - https://open.spotify.com/album/468ZwCchVtzEbt9BHmXopb
I've had the same running all day, to be honest. Having the 2001 a Space Odyssey soundtrack and Interstellar's soundtrack in the background is quite pleasant.
Obviously JWST does not fall into that category. I imagine if it blows up, it is just done forever?
I know where I'm putting my money.
landing of the mars mission was pretty big in the spectacle sense.
That is correct...but NOT in orbit of our home planet!
Do we know the fate of the centre core yet?
I might be reading into something that's not there, but the presenters (I didn't get their names) acted like they received surprising news in thier monitors at 39:03 just as they were about to report on the drone ship landing.
Dude: "We've just gotten confirmation..."
Lady: "[laughs] We are waiting to hear what happens..."
... and then back to the presenters. As someone said to me, "That's their lying face!" :)
Can't fault them for wanting to dwell on the positives though, was an amazing moment to watch.
Edit: You can switch cameras on the above youtube video to the countdown net; you can clearly hear them saying "We lost the centre core" at 38m30s - not sure if that means "lost signal of" or otherwise. The people in the control room appear to become more muted at that point, though they still seem composed. It's really not clear.
Edit: On the countdown net you can hear some minutes later "suspected loss of signal": https://youtu.be/-B_tWbjFIGI?t=42m21s
Doubly so when the "failure" isn't part of the primary mission.
If they delay the core announcement by a couple of hours or so, the headlines are all "SPACEX SENDS CAR TO MARS", with a minor note appended later to say, "A SpaceX spokesperson later confirmed the landing of the spacecraft's central core did not succeed and it has been lost." Like it or not, issues of timing like this makes a big difference to how the exact same events are reported and perceived.
Watching the countdown net it seemed plausible that they didn't know whether it had successfully landed either.
But even in the worst case first stage engine restart issues will never halt falcon launches. The first stage engines don't ever need to restart to complete the primary mission, and while landing the first stages is a great bonus, it is and always will be a secondary mission objective.
It is a bit odd they haven't announced that it was lost yet, but I agree that seems very likely.
Also in the video if you watch mission control’s wall of monitors you can see the feed cut back with an empty drone ship a minute or so later. Seems to confirm that the rocket missed the deck due to the engines not lighting.
Just speculation, but it makes sense to me...
Although there hasn't been an official statement by SpaceX yet, and whoever said "we lost the center core" could have just been referring to the video feed from the drone ship.
For those like me unfamiliar with the terminology used in this context, is this wording reserved for situations where the rocket is destroyed or could it also mean they lost contact/video feed with the center core?
We already dig other nice videos on youtube with rocket launches and the like. "How it's made" and so on. Some manufacturing videos have, believe it or not, caught her attention for half an hour! I think it was especially a video from manufacturing the Mini (car), lots of robots and automation.
You can hear "Centre core defect on shutdown". Definitely didn't make it.
I am pretty sure that SpaceX was able to achieve what they did today also because they studied the Soviet N1 rocket and learned from what the engineers at that time had to figure out from scratch.
The other thing is that the N1 Moon rocket was a very different design - a single booster with many small engines, so incredibly difficult system to control, especially given the state of technology 50 years ago. Falcon Heavy is more similar to the successful Energia booster - core + strap on boosters - that was originally designed for the Russian shuttle. Or the Angara series.
That being said, SpaceX is taking a much more pragmatic and efficient approach to building rockets with far less bureaucracy. This is the epitome of private sector efficieny over government projects.
The problem is lack of meaningful competition, rather than government vs. industry; governments can be very good when competing with other governments.
In comparison, the Saturn V used only 5, they were just that much bigger. It's widely regarded that the 5 vs 30 was the difference as to why Saturn V was successful and N1 was not, as the Soviets simply had to roll too many dice in a situation where a failure resulted in complete mission loss.
It's a lesson in system engineering, particularly around failure durability and parallel vs serial critical subsystems.
In this sense R-7 is remarkable because it has a good overall success record (most launched rocket) and 32 chambers working at liftoff. Some of those chambers are rather small - about 3 metric tons of thrust, about as much as main chambers on British launcher Black Arrow - but still.
You're right, though, the R-7 is a fantastic achievement not only for the chambers, but also considering how many engines and pumps it has. All those spinning, moving parts are another point of failure and they're all necessary for success.
If Soviets wanted something modern, they had to reinvent it from scratch - or steal it. They were fairly good at both. Whether it was a computer, transistors or entire designs. The results were usually very simple designs where little could go wrong and that didn't need complicated technology - which wasn't available. E.g. the Soyuz capsule vs. both the Apollo and Space Shuttle craft.
I lived in a former Soviet bloc country and I can tell you that getting even silly components like LEDs required superhuman efforts. The few that were made domestically ended up in industrial uses (or exported to USSR) and importing anything from abroad was almost impossible. We had a black & white TV full of tubes until late 80s at home - color solid state TVs didn't become available until 1988 or so (and sucked big time).
Also, something nobody has talked about yet. Falcon Heavy is capable of something no other US rocket is really able to do yet, launch new space station modules (or new space stations period).
I'm pretty sure one can launch space station modules on regular Falcon-9 as well. Russians launch some on Soyuz rocket.
Surely FH is more convenient for big stations.
SpaceX's Falcon project is the first major progress we've made in the field of human spaceflight since the Apollo program.
Marginal at best. The Space Shuttle lofted 833 astronauts at a cost of $209 billion . In 2013, NASA was paying Russia $70 million per astronaut for a Soyuz lift . That comes to $58 billion in 2013 dollars. That leaves $151+ billion, ignoring inflation, to justify everything else the Shuttle did. $150+ billion is 10x SpaceX's lifetime capital expenditures. (It's about what NASA expects it will cost to put humans on Mars.)
At first, the Space Shuttle (conceived as a shuttle to an American space station, the latter never built) was an expensive way to low-earth orbit. After the ISS, the Space Shuttle became an expensive way to the ISS. It pioneered virtually nothing and nowhere and was better at nothing than any other craft.
It was not worthless. But for the cost we could have achieved vastly more. Opportunity cost is real; the Space Shuttle set spaceflight back at least a generation.
It's not fun to trash these programs. But over time, I've realized it's necessary. We cannot correct failures we refuse to recognize. The Space Shuttle's dismal ROI was a motivating factor behind the Bush administration's support of COTS . Without that programme, SpaceX wouldn't be what it is today.
The knowledge was valuable, but not priceless. The same data could have been gathered, many times over, with long-duration multi-member orbital missions. We could have probably gotten an interplanetary flight in, too. The staggering cost of the ISS crowded out a lot of good science.
The argument could be made that we could have made do with less data, perhaps. But we could not have gathered this volume even once without ISS, let alone “many times”.
NASA spent 72 billion 2010 dollars on the ISS . (Total cost is over $150 billion.) From Expedition 1 in 2000 through Expedition 53 in September, the ISS played host to 25,290 crew days of human occupation . That comes to $2.8 million per day for NASA or over $5.9 million more generally. (Remember: this does not include the cost of getting to nor from the ISS.)
The Apollo program cost $107 billion 2016 dollars , or $98 million 2010 dollars . (This includes the cost of the Saturn I, Saturn IB and Saturn V launch vehicles.) From Apollo 7 in 1968 through Apollo 17 in 1972, the Apollo program hosted 305 crew days of human spaceflight . That comes to $3.2 million per day.
TL; DR We could have replicated the time spent on the ISS with a series of Apollo programs, using Apollo technology and Apollo-era costs, and had budget left over for a manned (probably non-landing) interplanetary mission .
The ISS is a boondoggle  on every measure except number of dollars funneled to defense contractors. It's not fun to trash these programs. (I grew up adoring the Space Shuttle and the ISs.) But over time, I've realized it's necessary. We cannot correct failures we refuse to recognize.
 Keep in mind the degree to which I'm putting my thumb on the scale in the ISS's favor. We're counting the Apollo program's launch costs but not the Space Shuttles. We're including, in $2.8 million per day figure, everyone's crew member hours but only NASA's costs.
 I am not (yet) in favor of de-orbiting the ISS. Sunk costs are sunk. Looking forward, there is probably something useful to be done with the beast.
I doubt an Apollo CSM  could support astronauts for a full year (although Mir could ). It has proven very handy to have a space station within reach of resupply missions and with enough space to house some gym equipment and a whole bunch of medical equipment. You might also have trouble finding people willing to spend much time beyond the Van Allen radiation belts  in an Apollo era space craft .
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir_EO-3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_TM-18
Most astronauts spend six months on the station, and obviously most of them don’t have a twin, but they all add data to our knowledge of how space affects humans. We have learned a lot about how to counter muscle atrophy, and we have a better understanding of how the eyes and bones are degraded by prolonged weightlessness.
NASA loves to talk about ways that space research has improved life on earth (just google it, they’ll shout it at you), but even if you could find a way to do all that other research without a crewed space station, you can’t accumulate six astronaut-years of human medical data in space every single year for decades on end unless you’ve got a place in space to put a bunch of humans for a really long time, over and over again.
To me, that is what makes ISS a human treasure. Someday we will build a more cost-effective replacement on the basis of the lessons we’ve learned, but for now it’s the best we’ve got, and it’s quite good.
It's not all about flashy missions like sending humans to Mars (for dubious scientific value as opposed to just sending robots).
But I couldn't help but laugh at the fact that they can launch a massive rocket on the first try and land (at least) 2 cores, but the camera STILL cuts out on the drone ship.
Edit: inside the pod is fairly high-gain directional antenna mounted on motorized positioner, but it is designed to track the satellite from slow (ie. ship) or predictably moving (ie. truck) platforms and certainly cannot cope with vibrations from the landing reliably. Man-portable BGAN terminals usually have fixed antenna and officially require quite lengthly positioning process (on the other hand it will work for some value of "work" when you just throw it into car trunk and park with trunk vaguely pointing to south, but you will be lucky to get reliable phone connection, not to mention video stream, in that case).
The safety reasons don't hold, you can easily shoot from several kms away (there are people on land several kms away from the launch pad). In the worst case, you can pilot a drone from several kms away, close enough to the barge.
> any ship that far out is going to be using a commercial satellite data feed
The footage from the droneship always appears perfect seconds before the landings. So it's not simply the fact of being at sea.
To your second question, how about a camera on a boat closer in with a hard line to a boat farther out with the satellite connection? You act as if sending a video feed is an unsolvable problem despite them beaming living video through the rest of the mission when they are in space.
They're not interested in the extra hassle of continuity for the sake of putting on a live show. The droneship has tons of cameras, the booster has tons of telemetry, that's all they're interested in.
(if you must spin a conspiracy, the one where they deliberately don't upgrade to keep their fans guessing is more credible - it's zero effort)
When you mount cameras on a landing barge, you would expect there to be a high likelihood of them being damaged or affected in some way when your rocket lands. So you do the obvious thing, and setup a redundant camera feed somewhere at a distance. Previous test landings at sea had a chase plane. Where was that this time?
At approx t-minus four minutes and counting. Elon Musk tweeted the "Holy Mouse Click" had returned "true". That moment when control is transferred to the onboard modules. And the Autonomous Flight Safety System takes control.
Its truly awesome to see that silky smooth burn. that perfect parabolic arc. And think upon the twenty-seven Merlin engines all firing in synchrony. Equipped with an intelligent decision making capability. And what the implications might be for future human spaceflight.
Here is an ancient link. But back around the mid-noughties. NASA published some details on the architecture of an AFSS:
An Autonomous Flight Safety System
Considering the Falcon Heavy includes reusable side boosters and central shaft. The complexity multiplies. As an example, take a peek at an implementation for expendable missions. that still use ground or satellite tracking and control.
Range Safety Algorithm Software Module for an Autonomous Flight Safety System
Darpa contributed tool for low level verification of onboard AFSS software.
SeaHorn: A fully automated analysis framework for LLVM-based languages
And of course, once your computers make it into space. They will need a place to store all the mountains of data generated ;)
SpaceBelt: space-based cloud storage network
Someone noticed there was a camera feed on the mission control wall that shows the Center Core's drone ship, after the smoke clears no ship can be seen:
9:00 into the feed, it's likely the core either missed or failed to land properly. Although the screen is partially out of view. So this is still speculative.
But 2/3 is impressive! Seeing the simultaneous landings had me in tears!
I thought this was impressive: "With a total of 27 first-stage engines, Falcon Heavy has engine-out capability that no other launch vehicle can match—under most payload scenarios, it can sustain more than one unplanned engine shutdown at any point in flight and still successfully complete its mission." http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy
Falcon Heavy Side Booster Separation - 61km, 6,881 km/hr
Falcon Heavy Core 1st Stage Separation - 92.5km, 9,474 km/hr
Also a link to screen caps of speeds/altitudes of previous Falcon 9 separations
My first thought is that the extra 'stuff' on the outside of the center booster required to connect the outside boosters might have caused some problems during re-entry.
After all, it's only a few second difference between 'nominal' and 'way too hot' with the suicide-burn style landings.
> only a few second difference
More like hundreds of milliseconds I think. (:
Quite possibly, I just wanted to be generous. I'm not quite sure how much leeway the crush core in the legs plus 3-engine burn can offer. The 3-engine burn especially may give more options if they allow for it to be extended if the core is moving too fast, though it'd be understandable if that's not something they do.
But I guess that's one way of saying he had ∆v to spare...
Like, remove any fluids, remove any parts that might explode in the hot or cold of space, deflate the tires, etc.
Note: I'm more interested in a scientific answer, as opposed to casual conjectures. Preferably from an engineer knowledgeable of such things. And specifically, the materials sciences aspect of how materials will survive in a vacuum.
Space is only -1 atmosphere and even then, it only affects sealed systems. For the rest, they'd equalise. Also, cooling in in space is actually fairly gradual as there's only radiation, not convection or conduction. Let's go through the systems and evaluate what that means:
For structural components, nothing will really change. After all, we built spacecraft out of aluminium before. The ISS has to cope with this more, as it goes in and out of sunlight every 90 mins, so it gets something like 15 cycles of high/low temperature a day. The thermal shock of going from darkness to sunlight is the main issue, but this won't be passing through the earth's shadow constantly since it'll be orbiting the sun, so changes will be far more gradual.
Bigger issues come from different materials joined together, such as steel to aluminium, since they expand at different rates, but that's not really a problem here and even if it is, it'll just crack a bit at the seam. That's not going to cause the car to explode into little fragments.
For unsealed systems with fluids, they'd just boil away in the vacuum before desubliminating into little frozen droplets and bounce around or whatnot.
The only sealed systems with fluids in them that I can think of are tyres and brake lines. Tyres tend to sit at about 30-35 PSI, which is ~2 atmospheres. They then have to endure significant heating/cooling, dynamic pressures of spinning, etc. so an extra atmosphere wouldn't cause issue from a pressure point of view. Ditto brake lines - you stomp on them with a mechanical advantage and they never rupture.
I think you'll find the worst damage will be to the paint over time, which will fade more aggressively since it's not protected from UV sunlight any more.
edit: I forgot the batteries, which I believe are a sealed unit. They might have just dropped the battery pack from the car. Not sure what a vacuum would do to them as I don't know enough about Li-Ion battery design to comment.
"We didn't really test any of those materials [...] it's just literally a normal car in space"
After all, where it's going it won't need roads.
The glass will eventually become clouded and discoloured due to radiation damage and scoring by micrometeorites. Some plastics can rapidly deteriorate in sunlight.
Erosion from micrometeoroids (dust) and larger impacts is also a factor over timescales of thousands of years.
I doubt it will last the millions of years that is suggested.
id imagine a 360-camera is projected onto the inside of the sphere/case the car is actually inside of.
The wording on their job postings is:
>To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.
This is innovation. This is the future. This, and Tesla, are the biggest technological breakthroughs since the iPhone.
Well played Mr. Musk. Well Played.
"SpaceX also attempted a recovery of all three of the first stage boosters it used during the launch. It has recovered two of those thus far, and we’re waiting to hear back from SpaceX on the official status of the final, third booster, which was landing at sea."
Am I the only one that find it quite disturbing that a private corporation taking over more public space?
In the long run this stuff will bite humanity at large in the butt.
Compare that with how long it's been since Yuri Gagarin's first flight, and we're just now getting to where we can imagine passenger flights to space in the next few years.
Of course aviation may be easier than spaceflight, but I think a large part of the difference is that aviation was developed by companies trying to make a buck, while spaceflight until recently was dominated by governments who were in it for political purposes.
Myself, I'll take the faster progress you get from the profit motive.
I truly believe that if spaceflight had developed under private enterprise like aviation did, you and I would have been able to buy tickets years ago.
You can bet that when and if a lunar, astroid, or any other colony burgeons beyond a sizable hotel that a local government will form and begin to assert its own regulations, not unlike towns of the American west or trading posts operating underneath a larger national trading company. Under what form that occurs has yet to be seen.
Did you think the future as a space fairing civilization would be all run by one government agency?
Do you think NASA would fly tourist to moon and the mars?
That seems absurd to me. We don't have government building cars, or airplanes, or trains or anything like that. Why should rockets be built by government?
If government wants to do something in space, they have a wealth of private options.
Suggest spending taxes on this to the average joe and they’ll grumble “sort out the problems on earth first” or similar instead
As for space launches - well, the US Gov did a "great job" at saving what they learned from building the Saturn V, can't imagine them being better at space exploration, either.
Besides, all of the planes and ships are built by private companies, and it's worked OK-ish so far.
I would claim they are expanding the market and generally that is beneficial for all stakeholders.
We are not discussing a finite resource like forests, here.
Would Musk focusing only on it make any difference?
edit: This is not a complaint, just a question, why the downvotes? I'm used to getting downvoted for no reason, but this is basic a question, with great answers. Come on HN! We can't ask questions?
One, this is his baby. I believe he spends more time at SpaceX than his other companies. Two, B2B. The public only sees breathtaking videos. The contract negotiations, sales process, pricing, support, insurance, et cetera happen behind the scenes. Finally, nothing has been on time. Years' delays don't feel that bad because (a) space is hard, (b) space is awesome and (c) everyone else going to space is even worse at keeping to timetables.
Landing and reusing the Falcon 9 cores is probably a much bigger benefit to their bottom line overall.
Tesla on the other hand has to be able to deliver tons of reliable cars to people all over the place in a competitive market. Delays to the Model 3 mean they're burning money they can't afford to lose while their competitors are rapidly catching up to them.
While SpaceX could continue their successful Falcon 9 launches during the 5 year delay on Falcon Heavy, Tesla will likely be gone in 5 years if Model 3 delays are even close to that long.
I don't mean they look similar. I mean they look like they came from the same video feed. When completing the touchdown, they both seem to land at the same pad -- you can see the flame of the other booster and the pad the other booster is landing at in both videos, except they aren't rotated 180 degrees from one-another because the rest of the landscape is identical. Also, watch the moment when the boosters do their initial burn to slow down from freefall. The flames in both videos look virtually identical.
Here's a few samples: https://imgur.com/a/Xpbu8
Did they acknowledge that the videos weren't actually taken from both rockets during the stream and I just missed it? Or is there some other explanation?
Even if the droneship didn't work out...
Awesome work by spacex. They are peerless, except if you want to count massive superpower governments as peers.
If you wonder why all of the shareholders of Apple aren't plowing their money into spaceflight, well it's probably because they're a retirement fund, or just aren't rich.
Other people invest in making this world a better place, see Bill Gates, or other worthwhile causes, of which spaceflight is just one.
Not everyone can be Elon Musk, nor should they try. There is much to do with our feet on the ground.
Less snarkily, the pitch of Elon Musk is surprisingly selfish--he's basically doing this as much so he can get to Mars as anyone can. By contrast, people like Rockefeller and Carnegie in the past are largely responsible for endowing public culture in the form of museums, concert halls, public libraries and the like, and the modern day equivalents like Gates and Buffett are attempting to eradicate malaria from the world.
Nevertheless, you should reserve ire for those who have the ability to do philanthropy and fail to engage in it in any form as opposed to those whose philanthropy isn't in the areas you'd prefer.
"Elon kind of money?"
Heard of government subsidies?
Edit: not taking sides and adding my subjective point to the article; just merely stating fact that Mr. Musk projects are in large part government-funded.
That amount is for Tesla and SolarCity combined. To put things into perspective, GM received a $50B bailout, Ford got almost $6B for “energy-efficient” cars, as did Nissan with $1.6B.
Finally, almost all of those are loans, tax credits and incentives, not money 'out of pocket'. The goal is always to generate more wealth than was “spent”.
You need an advanced robot, reliable, highly tested, constructed by the best rover engineers on the planet. You need to spend years designing the overall program. You need to deliver the robot safely to the surface of Mars. You need to operate the program at non-trivial cost for an extended period of time to then look for water etc.
Add a few billion dollars to the cost, basically.
Then, there are other costs. Cost of launch could have been absorbed by Tesla. Cost of developing a mars-capable payload would be extra. Who would pay for it, on a completely new and experimental rocket?
What can happen ? Did a payload already exploded passing through the Van Allen belt ? Are batteries a problem ?
Can’t see what would make it not “make it through” but I could see how we might never I find out.
Elon over there going to Mars, I can't even get this dang app to build.
Might be time to move....
>To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.
I mean, I understand, but it still puts a damper on the "Team Humanity" vibe. :/ Same as when the SpaceX team were chanting "U!S!A!" at one of the Falcon launches.
(Hope this doesn't come across as petty.)
People outside the US want to feel part of the accomplishment, which is understandable as there are only a few nations that are likely to ever have the resources to do something like this. So the USA cheering feels exclusionary, naturally. I chalk it up to them being proud of the immense work they've done to get the US back into space properly again.
Great job Elon and team SpaceX!
Anyone knows what happened to the core booster?
Any idea what that was?
EDIT: I think it's a replay of the capsule opening that initially contained the car, just spliced in at a weird part of the video.
Do they turn off the camera if its about to fly by something that would rather not be seen?
So Heavy is about 1/2 as lift capable...at a tiny fraction of the $/kg.
Screen shots from live feed: https://imgur.com/a/gh410
"The core stage, meanwhile, burned slightly longer before separating from the upper stage, performed a flip maneuver and landed on SpaceX's Of Course I Still Love You drone ship."
Not sure it's true.
They still want it back for data.
But I have this one observation on watching the launch, and landing and I hope someone can explain the discrepancy to me:
How come the two boosters when they stick-landed have different colors than when they were launched - so soon? I mean, they were all real shinny white when blasting upwards from the launch pad. Are those the same ones that stick-landed to perfectly?
Mission continues on an experimental long coast and third stage two burn to target a precessing Earth-Mars elliptical orbit around the sun
… which I can't completely decode.
Update: SpaceX says "Upper stage restart nominal, apogee raised to 7000 km. Will spend 5 hours getting zapped in Van Allen belts & then attempt final burn for Mars."
The closest point to the sun will be about 1AU (Earth-Sun distance). The furthest point from the sun will be something like 1.5AU (Mars-Sun distance).
This orbit will precess, meaning that it will slowly rotate its axis around the sun, rather than staying locked into the exact same path.
TL;DR: Elliptical solar orbit.
Falcon Heavy is, on the other hand, nominally a $90 million launch cost. That's cheaper than the typical launch cost for a Falcon 9, Atlas V, or Ariane 5 class vehicle, so that's crazy cheap. A lot of that is down to the fact that 90% of the hardware cost of the Falcon Heavy stack comes from reusable rocket stages (the 3 main cores). On top of that, the Falcon Heavy side boosters are just regular Falcon 9 cores, so as SpaceX gets better at reusing Falcon 9 rockets it'll also become easier to launch Falcon Heavy rockets because there will just always be a stack of appropriate components sitting around in inventory ready to go. Meaning that the potential flight rate on Heavy launches could be quite high. The Delta IV Heavy launches maybe around once every year or every other year or so. The Falcon Heavy could potentially fly many times per year.
Together that's kind of a "big deal". It'll crack open the heavy lift market to a lot of people who previously lacked the means or the access to launch big payloads. If launching 20 tonnes to LEO is something that costs 10 figures and happens literally less often than every blue moon then you tend to only launch things like multi-billion dollar spy satellites. But if launching much more than that mass costs less than a traditional comsat launch and can happen every other month or perhaps more often if there's the demand, then you're going to get a lot of folks coming out of the woodwork to take advantage of that capability (and, as well, that'll still include NRO and US national defense folks as well, they won't miss out either).
So, what are some things that become more possible with Falcon Heavy?
* Space station components. After the Shuttle program ended there was much less capacity for launching station components, it was restricted to small bits and pieces (a docking adapter here, a small inflatable module there) and Russian components launched via Proton. With Falcon Heavy in the mix it becomes more practical to launch new space stations and new station components. So that's more of an option now.
* Deep space missions. Falcon Heavy is capable of launching reasonable payloads on interplanetary trajectories to the outer planets. So that means it could make new missions to asteroids, comets, the gas and ice giant planets (or their moons), as well as KBOs and TNOs much more cost effective. NASA, ESA, etc. could look to using Falcon Heavy for those sorts of missions in the near future. It also makes things like "ordinary" Mars rover missions cheaper, of course, and allows them to be larger and more capable.
* Space telescopes. Launching big space telescopes like Hubble and its successors will become much cheaper. So instead of having just one or two or even a handful of big top tier observatory class space telescopes we could have many of them.
* Crewed interplanetary missions. In theory you could do something like a crewed cislunar mission similar to Apollo 8 using a single Falcon Heavy launch. More realistically if you wanted to do a "proper" interplanetary mission you'd assemble something in low Earth orbit. You'd put up separate boost stages as well as the crewed spacecraft component and the return vehicle on separate flights and bring them together then set off somewhere. If you're, say, NASA and you have a paltry $2 billion or something to pull off a crewed mission to an asteroid, perhaps, then being able to buy a half-dozen Falcon Heavy flights and put up a crap-ton of payload into LEO with only a quarter of your budget is hugely advantageous.
* And, of course, all the standard stuff like spysats and big national defense payloads. This isn't such a huge deal for "the future" but it'll be a substantial revenue stream for SpaceX.
As for sending humans to Mars, SpaceX won't be using Falcon Heavy for that. They have a next generation launch architecture planned that is more or less specifically designed for mars colonization (the BFR/BFS). That system will be much larger and able to put about 150 tonnes into LEO in a single (reusable) launch. It'll be fully reusable, including the 2nd stage (the BFS). It'll use LOX/Methane instead of LOX/Kerosene because of the superior performance, significantly improved longevity of engine components (less soot and coking in piping) to enhance reusability, and compatability with a Mars exploration architecture that includes utilization of the Martian atmosphere to produce propellant for return trips (which is actually surprisingly easy). They will begin the first stages of manufacturing that rocket sometime this year but it will be a few years before it even has a test flight.
Edit: referring to the Starman live feed:
And yes, it will have attitude control in order to ensure that the three burns (two complete, interplanetary insertion to come) all happen in the correct orientation
That was seriously impressive to watch. Congratulations to all the SpaceX engineers who made this a reality.
Love that pic of the dummy astronaut in the Tesla looking back at Earth.
Were the two falcons landing at the same moment synchronized to look good for the cameras, or was it just how it happened because they travelled together?
Still a tremendous accomplishment.
Or, imagine we hit a dark age and bounce back, and this event is lost to history. Five hundred years later we manage to get some people to Mars orbit and they find a fucking car in a capsule with a little mannequin stuffed into it flinging around the planet at hundreds of kph.
All while it's blasting David Bowie over their radios.
If it gets to be a problem in the future, it will have so much historical value that someone will launch a mission to go fetch the Roadster and bring it home to Mars.
Anyway I wouldn't normally consider it to be space trash, but in this case it's pretty much just a big Tesla ad billboard orbiting the planet so I agree with you sentiment
Space debris is a problem in a small number of high-traffic Earth orbits. There is almost nothing in existence on this random Hohmann transfer solar orbit where the car will live for hundreds of millions of years.
Space is big.
It probably does not add a measurable amount of junk to hit than is already up there in the form of natural rocks.
Though if in the future human population hits the quadrillions and we are living on all 8 planets we should probably start worrying about our space trash.
Also, there is not any danger of stuff "crowding" out there because the amount of space between Earth and Mars is really quite extremely huge.
> Following launch, Falcon Heavy’s second stage will attempt to place the Roadster into a precessing Earth-Mars elliptical orbit around the sun.
Opposition to non-bipedal forms of transport?
Or is it opposition to the type of urban planning that is centered around the car more than the pedestrian?
I posted more screen shots of launch: https://imgur.com/a/gh410