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NASA, France Skeptical of SpaceX Reusable Rocket Project 333

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-can't-do-it-therefore-nobody-can-do-it dept.
MarkWhittington writes: "The drive by SpaceX to make the first stage of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle reusable has attracted the attention of both the media and the commercial space world. It recently tested a first stage which 'soft landed' successfully in the Atlantic Ocean. However both NASA and the French space agency CNES have cast doubt that this kind of reusability could ever be made practical, according to a Monday story in Aviation Week. SpaceX is basing its plan on the idea that its Merlin 1D engines could be reused 40 times. However, citing their own experience in trying to reuse engines, both NASA and the CNES have suggested that the technical challenges and the economics work against SpaceX being able to reuse all or part of their rockets. NASA found that it was not worth trying to reuse the space shuttle main engines after every flight without extensive refurbishment. The CNES studied reusing its Ariane 5 solid rocket boosters liquid fueled and reusable but soon scrapped the idea."
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NASA, France Skeptical of SpaceX Reusable Rocket Project

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  • by Andrio (2580551) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @08:33AM (#46938369)

    "Things are only impossible until they are not." -Picard

  • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @08:47AM (#46938473)

    Exactly, SpaceX thinks *outside the box*. This innovative thinking allows them to toss aside all learned wisdom and knowledge from those old dinosaurs at NASA.

    Innovative thinking, used to build synergy and form a new paradigm, THAT'S what it's all about. The physical reality will follow from that.

  • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @09:27AM (#46938847)

    No, NASA management is done in Powerpoint.

    (NASA engineering is done in Excel.)

  • by jittles (1613415) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @09:38AM (#46938977)

    Between NASA/CNES being correct and Elon Musk being correct, I'll side with Elon. He's already created the first practical electric car which besides having 200+ mile range is freaking awesome and sporty. Behemoth GM failed to do the same over the course of decades. So proving NASA/CNES wrong, the smart money is on Elon.

    You're right. There were no geniuses working at NASA or CNES. They were doomed for failure. Elon will save the day.

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmail. c o m> on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @11:41AM (#46940357) Homepage

    Exactly, SpaceX thinks *outside the box*. This innovative thinking allows them to toss aside all learned wisdom and knowledge from those old dinosaurs at NASA.

    Sometimes that leads to innovative solutions. Sometimes that leads to falling flat on your face and learning that the dinosaurs aren't as stupid as you thought. Witness the loss of the first Falcon I.... to galvanic corrosion. The "outside the box" thinkers are SpaceX ignored engineering 101 and the lessons of the dinosaurs.
     

    Innovative thinking, used to build synergy and form a new paradigm, THAT'S what it's all about. The physical reality will follow from that.

    Yeah, that's worked for flying cars. And jet packs. The barriers of the laws of physics and economic factors will simply melt away if you're positive enough and use the latest management buzzwords.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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