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SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon 9 Rocket 190

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-much-for-a-ride dept.
leetrout writes "SpaceX has successfully launched a two-stage rocket, the Falcon 9, into Earth orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. 'Liftoff came after hours of delay, sparked initially by launchpad telemetry problems, then by a sailboat that strayed into a restricted area of the launch range. The day's first countdown was aborted at virtually the last second, due to a problem with the engine parameters, but the launch software was adjusted and a second countdown went all the way to the end.'" Update: 06/04 20:16 GMT by S : Reader mrcaseyj points out Spaceflight Now's coverage, which includes a number of pictures from the launch.
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SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon 9 Rocket

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  • Cool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by caywen (942955) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:11PM (#32463064)

    Good news for Obama and his vision for private industry servicing the ISS. Hopefully they won't delay their first ISS mission until 2011.

  • Re:Cool (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:22PM (#32463234)

    Whoosh!

    That wasn't a rocket...

  • Re:Cool. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mbkennel (97636) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:35PM (#32463376)

    It's not the elimination of the NASA manned rocket program. It's about the descoping of the poorly conceived and poorly executed NASA manned rocket design and manufacturing program; whose significant purpose was employment in Alabama congressional districts. A private contractor will not decide on the mission goals or the payload. One can have robust manned space program without designing the rockets.

    In 1965 NASA had to design and build its own microcomputers. NASA does not do so any more; astronauts use standard laptop computers on the ISS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:41PM (#32463456)

    Loss of SpaceX craft: a few million $$
    Loss of Space Shuttle: a billion+ $$

    Space Shuttle is also a little larger and a little more complex. I'm using "little" in the loosest possible way. Comparing SpaceX to Shuttle is like comparing F-150 with Peterbuilt (there you go, a truck analogy :)

  • Excellent! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZonkerWilliam (953437) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:44PM (#32463482) Journal
    Well done Elon, Here's hoping you can stay afloat a little longer to get us back into space!
  • Re:Cool (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:57PM (#32463650) Journal

    They called it National Socialism for a reason!

    Probably for similar reasons why North Korea calls itself the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea".

  • by Nyeerrmm (940927) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:02PM (#32463716)

    To be fair, comparing reboot on the shuttle to this is a little unfair, since STS launched for the first time with people on board. Nonetheless, quite impressive.

    As far as the liftoff occurring early -- I see it too. The stream was laggy, so that could be it, but it also seemed like the engines were running rather hot (second stage engine cutoff was early but it nailed its target orbit), so it could be that the sensors detected that it was dangerous to continue to hold it down and let go early.

  • Odd-looking roll (Score:4, Insightful)

    by david.given (6740) <dg AT cowlark DOT com> on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:13PM (#32463848) Homepage Journal

    During the second stage burn, the vehicle appeared to start to rotate, gradually accelerating as the burn continued. Does anyone know if this was part of the planned ascent profile, or something gone wrong?

    It's hard to tell due to the angle of the rocketcam camera, but it didn't appear to be rolling around the vehicle's axis --- which makes it more of a tumble. OTOH, that might have been an optical illusion. I gather that the Dragon demonstrator that was being launched didn't have any propulsion, so this could have been planned to spin-stabilise it, but... it did look odd.

    I don't want to put any dampeners on the launch, though. For a first launch of a prototype rocket, it's still a fantastic achievement to get to orbit first time.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:23PM (#32463954)
    Actually, the crazy ones are the ones who hold on to their wealth. Money is for spending, it has no other worthwhile purpose.
  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Friday June 04, 2010 @06:14PM (#32464522)

    But if you invest your money only to keep it, you haven't spent it. Most billionaires have their money in these kind of investments (real estate, stocks, bonds, things like that). Using the money to start a technology company, on the other hand, is spending it. I approve. I think everyone should spend all their money this way (you know, to the extant it's possible I mean, obviously you have to buy food and other essential things).

    Anyway, just to elaborate on my earlier point: Most people don't make these kind of risky investments because they are afraid to lose their money. They have failed to realize that money has no intrinsic value and is only good for spending. It's crazy to get caught up worrying about money, and yet most people seem to think the opposite (especially in the US).

  • Re:Cool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dogmatixpsych (786818) on Friday June 04, 2010 @10:42PM (#32466464) Homepage Journal
    It is good news. This also points out some of the inconsistencies in politics. Apparently it's okay to privatize space flight but not health care and social security etc...
  • by AaronLawrence (600990) * on Saturday June 05, 2010 @07:37AM (#32467948)

    BUt obviously, out of the thousands of things that could go wrong it was silly to claim the landing gear as the only thing that needed manual control.
    They just wanted to fly spacecraft...

  • Re:Cool (Score:2, Insightful)

    by osu-neko (2604) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @02:23PM (#32469972)

    It is good news. This also points out some of the inconsistencies in politics. Apparently it's okay to privatize space flight but not health care and social security etc...

    Yes. Reminds me of those inconsistent builds who use hammers on nails but not on screws. Some silly people seem to think you shouldn't use the same tool to solve every problem.

  • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @11:00PM (#32472774) Journal
    So at $55M a pop, this could really be disruptive to the whole space industry.

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