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West To East Coast: SpaceX Ready For Extreme Multitasking 23

astroengine writes Breaking new ground is nothing new for SpaceX, but how about launch and landing operations on opposite sides of the country at the same time? A poor weather forecast in Florida prompted SpaceX to pass on a second launch opportunity Monday to put the Deep Space Climate Observatory into orbit. The first launch attempt on Sunday was called off with two minutes to spare because of a glitch with a ground-based radar system needed to track the Falcon 9 rocket in flight. The launch of the spacecraft, nicknamed DSCOVR, is now pegged for 6:05 p.m. EST Tuesday, which overlaps with the return flight of a Dragon cargo ship from the International Space Station.
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West To East Coast: SpaceX Ready For Extreme Multitasking

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  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2015 @11:20AM (#49025845) Homepage

    I *think* this is the first time ever any space organization has launched and recovered a spacecraft in the same day. Coupled with the operations going on at two different coasts, it's a pretty impressive performance when you think about it.

    It certainly demonstrates a lot of depth to the SpaceX organization.

    Kudos to Elon Musk, who, as many people have wondered, must either be an alien or a time traveler tasked with putting humanity on the right path for the future.

    myke

    • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2015 @11:21AM (#49025853) Homepage

      AND, they are attempting to recover the first stage of the launch vehicle.

      If SpaceX pulls this off, it will be a very impressive performance.

      myke

    • I was kind of wondering the same thing ... that's a LOT going on in one day, and quite impressive.

      Suddenly I'm visualizing multiple daily launches and landings as if it was no big deal and just thinking "wow, that's awesome".

  • A couple of hours ago I read that it was delayed for Wednesday due to the weather conditions (wind).
    • This actually has me somewhat curious regarding reusability. While I appreciate what SpaceX is doing--and I think it's a good idea--I wonder about things like launch windows and the like. Suppose I'm launching some asteroid probe and it needs to leave on Thursday for appropriate gravitational boosts. But my launch gets cancelled because it would be too windy to retrieve the first stage.

      I'd imagine that SpaceX has "launch now" pricing where you end up paying for the first stage so that it will launch rega

      • by kellymcdonald78 ( 2654789 ) on Tuesday February 10, 2015 @11:47PM (#49026627)
        The eventual plan is to land near the launch site (SpaceX just signed a deal with the Airforce to lease LC13 at the Cape). As such both launch and landing sites will have the same weather conditions. Going foreword this should only be an issue with the center core of the Falcon 9 Heavy which will be too far down range to return to the launch site.
  • Strange timing for this article to be posted nearly the moment -after- the dragon has splashed down and DSCOVR was delayed to Wednesday. Couldn't have waited one more hour?

    • by TWX ( 665546 )
      Doesn't help that Slashdot was broken for several hours today, and the article was the top link with only two comments for something like six hours.
  • I was sort of expecting a post addressing today's, erm, "issue".

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Who left timmy in charge? I mean the sites breaks when he is on duty.

  • I'm reading a great near-future series from the 90s right now (so it actually takes place in what was then the future, the mid-2000s) that hypothesizes that NASA is never going to be the powerhouse it once was, and that if we ever want to really get space travel going, what we need is an eccentric bajillionaire who *really* wants space travel to succeed. Sadly, Elon Musk is a bit too much of a dabbler compared to the extremely-driven Mariesa of the book's world (I wish we had a Mariesa), but he's what we ha

  • The Dragon return is a low overhead task. For a company of 3000 people, it takes less than a dozen people at mission control in Hawthorne to monitor plus the recovery boat assets (which apparently are outsourced).

    The folks involved on the Cape Launch are totally non overlapping, except at the managerial levels, those managers aren't involved in the execution of those tasks.

    There is plenty to be amazed about SpaceX, but this just isn't it.

    The real challenge for SpaceX right now is ramping up F9R production,

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"

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