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Space Technology

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida 112

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."
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

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  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @03:27PM (#47450635)

    Again, SpaceX spent about the same amount of money to build a new rocket engine and two new rockets and launch them into orbit as NASA did to put a fake upper stage onto a Shuttle SRB and launch it into the ocean. They've also probably spent less developing their stage recovery system than NASA has spent over the years on studies of how they might think about recovering rocket stages.

    But, yeah, it's all Reagan's fault. Or something.

  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @04:15PM (#47450957)
    Here, you go (from here []: The space system shall provide abort capability from the launch pad until Earth-orbit insertion to protect for the following ascent failure scenarios (minimum list):

    a. Complete loss of ascent thrust/propulsion (Requirement 58613).

    b. Loss of attitude or flight path control (Requirement 58614).

    Rationale: Flying a spacecraft through the Earth's atmosphere to orbit entails inherent risk. Three crewed launch vehicles have suffered catastrophic failures during ascent or on the launch pad (one Space Shuttle and two Soyuz spacecraft). Both Soyuz crews survived the catastrophic failure due to a robust ascent abort system. Analysis, studies, and past experience all provide data supporting ascent abort as the best option for the crew to survive a catastrophic failure of the launch vehicle. Although not specifically stated, the ascent abort capability incorporates some type of vehicle monitoring to detect failures and, in some cases, impending failures.

  • by WrongMonkey ( 1027334 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @04:43PM (#47451111)
    SpaceX is not competing with NASA, because NASA doesn't make rockets. NASA has input on the design requirements, but all the real work is done by private contractors, like Lockheed and Boeing. SpaceX is just a new contractor and they operate just like the others. They have some interesting new engineering approaches that may reduce costs, but it's not any fundamentally new business model.
  • by Teancum ( 67324 ) <robert_horning AT netzero DOT net> on Monday July 14, 2014 @05:01PM (#47451251) Homepage Journal

    Russia as a country has assumed all treaty obligations and considers itself to be the legitimate heir to the Soviet Union. Very few people really disagree.

    Besides, the Soviet Union really was a greater Russian empire anyway. The language, the culture, and in many cases the people at the top were all from Russia. That is also one of the causes of the issues in the Ukraine as the "Russification program" to deliberately wipe out whole cultures was occurring there to transplant culturally Russian peoples into the conquered areas (like Ukraine) and then do a similar transplantation of the "locals" to other areas still so they would lose their cultural identity. They expected this would take several generations, and was incomplete, but in areas where it was done there are now ethnically Russian people (like the Crimea) who want to "return home".

    So yes, "Soviet Union" == "Russia" for all practical purposes. Especially in the realm of spaceflight.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2014 @05:56PM (#47451675)

    The man lands a rocket on the ocean and you claim that he fucked it up.
    Only conservative idiots like you could come up with something like that. No doubt if you saw Jesus rise from death 3 days later, you idiots would ask what took him so long?

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?