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Space Technology

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the final-countdown dept.
An anonymous reader writes After two months of delays, SpaceX was successful today with its launch of six Orbcomm telecommunications satellites. All six satellites have been successfully deployed in orbit. The 375-pound satellites will offer two-way data links to help customers track, monitor and control transportation and logistics assets, heavy equipment, oil and gas infrastructure, ships and buoys, and government-owned equipment. From the article: "SpaceX plans to use Monday's launch to test a landing system it is developing to fly its rockets back to the launch site for refurbishment and reuse. During Falcon 9's last flight in April, the first stage successfully restarted some of its engines as it careened toward the ocean, slowing its descent. The rocket also was able to deploy stabilizing landing legs before toppling over in the water. The booster, however, was destroyed by rough seas before it could be retrieved by recovery ships. Monday's launch was the 10th flight of Falcon 9 rocket, all of which have been successful."

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

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  • by gman003 (1693318) on Monday July 14, 2014 @03:23PM (#47450611)

    The article is pretty vague about potentially the most important part of this launch - the reusable landing system. The article says they were going to "test" this. First, they're unclear as to whether that's a full return-to-launch test, or another "soft landing in water" test. Then they don't say whether that test was successful - they switch weirdly from past tense when describing the launch to future tense when describing the test, despite them being pretty much the same event.

    • by cdrudge (68377)

      It sounded to me like what they were testing was successful (did the legs deploy, did the engines restart, did the vehicle slow down, etc), but that it wasn't a full test with the goal of being able to reuse the rocket as it was a water landing. And due to rough seas, the rocket was destroyed once it was in the water.

    • by koreanbabykilla (305807) on Monday July 14, 2014 @03:27PM (#47450637)

      https://twitter.com/SpaceX [twitter.com]

      Rocket booster reentry, landing burn & leg deploy were good, but lost hull integrity right after splashdown (aka kaboom).

      Detailed review of rocket telemetry needed to tell if due to initial splashdown or subsequent tip over and body slam

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For the curious; The landing was quasi successful this flight in that, although the booster touched down under power with legs extended, it was then destroyed in something a tweet from musk described as a 'AKA kaboom'. It's not clear if that was due to the touchdown or falling over after touchdown.

      • I'm guessing it was probably related to a thing designed to land on land landing instead on ocean. Still. It will be fun to look at the data.

    • The rocket launched Monday suffered a similar fate. "Rocket booster re-entry, landing burn & leg deploy were good, but lost hull integrity right after splashdown (aka kaboom)," Musk wrote on Twitter.
      The failure may have been a bit on the energetic side; trying for a soft touch down with enough rocket fuel ant oxidiser to do a soft touch down is always potentially exciting.

      • by wagnerrp (1305589)
        Especially when you have a hot bell and combustion chamber that suddenly come into contact with salt water.
      • trying for a soft touch down with enough rocket fuel ant oxidiser to do a soft touch down is always potentially exciting.

        I knew Spacex has done some new and inventive things in propulsion systems.
        But oxidising rocket fuel ants? That's just plain weird...
        I guess the new facility in Texas will include their own ant farm to keep down cost.

      • I was super tempted to moderate this "Flamebait" but the meta-pun wasn't worth the hit to your karma. ;-)

        • I'm a anthropogening Climate Change Sceptic, one more flamebait wouldn't have made any difference.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Reuters article makes no mention of the landing attempt this time -- that's probably because it exploded the instant it touched the water. [spaceflightnow.com] My guess is superheated engine nozzles do not like ice cold seawater.

    • exploded the instant it touched the water.

      How would that not make the highlight reel for the launch?

      • exploded the instant it touched the water.

        How would that not make the highlight reel for the launch?

        Because nobody was there to film it?

      • by fgodfrey (116175)

        Apparently (and this is my understanding with no inside knowledge, so take it with a grain of salt), they don't have live video telemetry from the stage during decent. They have a variety of engineering data, but to get decent video, they need to get the stage back. Given that it blew up, I'm guessing that's unlikely. Last time, they had some spotty video relayed off a tracking aircraft, but they had to wait for the aircraft to land before anyone saw it. Maybe the same will happen here? Also, as a comp

        • by Teancum (67324)

          The previous telemetry that they recovered from the previous Falcon 9 rocket (not the one that flew today) was literally recovered from a pizza pan that somebody bent over their knee and stuck a radio receiver to the back and then pointed it out of a private aircraft towards the rocket during descent in one of the most jury rigged pieces of apparatus you could possibly imagine. That they got any kind of data at all is freaking amazing.

          This has nothing to do with conspiracy theories, but rather that the tel

  • why didn't they route power to structural integrity ? An ensign would tell you that, its basic.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm overjoyed that SpaceX is constantly pushing the envelope. I hope that SpaceX one day will announce that they are sending people to Mars or who knows maybe even further then that. If anything I hope SpaceX sprouts more "space companies".

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