back to article Watch as SpaceX's latest Falcon rocket burns then crashes

SpaceX supremo Elon Musk's hopes of adding a fifth rocket to his collection of pre-used space hardware were dashed on Wednesday when the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket suffered a Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly. Now we know why. The Falcon 9 successfully delivered the two satellites it was carrying into geostationary orbit. …

  1. eesiginfo

    Hmmm... not convinced!

    Definitely a supporter.... but I'm not really convinced by the explanation.

    I just don't cast myself in the mould of the sycophants that hang on to every word spoken by Musk.

    I watched the video a few times... it seemed to slow correctly above the barge... it simply failed to land correctly.

    For myself, I see this as a typical teething problem with the system.

    Perhaps there is a financial need to explain this, in the language used.

    But I'm not interested in that.

    I'd rather he just said.... shit... this is difficult to get right.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm... not convinced!

      The engines are supposed to keep running after it "hits" the barge, mostly to get rid of any unburnt fuel but also to make sure it is eased down.

      1. Dave Harvey

        Re: Hmmm... not convinced!

        "The engines are supposed to keep running after it "hits" the barge"

        Sorry, but this is wrong - SpaceX use "high g" landings - and are supposed to be incapable of "hovering" due to minimum thrust being greater than landing weight, so if they left the engine running, it would take off again! This is what makes landings so hard - they need to align the bottom of the parabolic height curve EXACTLY with the height of the barge, and then cut the engine(s) at exactly that moment - yes, this IS rocket science!

        1. Adrian Midgley 1

          only if nearly empty

          If it has 25 tonnes of fuel + oxidiser remaining then it (appears it) can get down to a 1:1 thrust ratio.

          Which is I suppose another way in which an absolute minimum fuel return is harder than one that retains some fuel (and O2).

    2. Lamb0

      Re: Hmmm... not convinced!

      It's too bad you're not convinced and pay so little attention to fuel usage. Geostationary satellite launches are by far the most difficult. Yet, BOTH satellites were able to successfully attain their respective orbit. It was expected that the sea "landing" would be iffy... a return to land was impossible due to insufficient fuel.

      "Looks like early liquid oxygen depletion caused engine shutdown just above the deck "

      What's interesting is that the landing was so "close". A satellite launch to geostationary orbit requires a much higher velocity of all the mobile launch system components, including the first stage. As a result the reentry temperatures are far higher than would be expected for a low orbit launch. One of the worrisome potential problems was thermal damage induced by the extremely high reentry velocity required by the geosynchronous satellite launch. If little enough damage was done by the extreme reenty heat that the launch failure was due "early liquid oxygen depletion" that actually speaks well of the first stage's overall performance!

    3. JeffyPoooh
      Pint

      Re: Hmmm... not convinced!

      "...[Musk] sycophants..."

      Yep.

      But the linked distant view video doesn't provide enough information to even trigger a conspiracy. The booster is much larger than many people comprehend, so a 20-foot drop (for example) would be just a few pixels in the video, and hidden behind billowing clouds in any case.

    4. TitterYeNot

      Re: Hmmm... not convinced!

      "I watched the video a few times... it seemed to slow correctly above the barge... it simply failed to land correctly."

      Early reports from SpaceX were that the crash was caused by a thrust falloff in one of its engines as it attempted to land. Now we know what caused the failure of that engine (drop in LOX pressure.)

      As only 3 of its 9 engines are used for landing, I presume that there was no way to maintain a stable attitude with 2 remaining good engines, however much they gimballed to compensate. I'm guessing that either the Falcon fell over onto its side as it landed, or the thrust falloff triggered an automatic all-engine shutdown and the vehicle dropped the final few metres onto the deck and disintegrated (or should I say 'auto-disassembled'.)

    5. Tony Haines
      Happy

      Re: Hmmm... not convinced!

      Alternate explanation:

      He was doing it manually and didn't manage to flicker-tap the space bar correctly on final approach.

  2. Pascal
    Black Helicopters

    ... and the tinfoil hat brigade rides in!

    Also, fake moon landings, illuminato or free masons or somesuch.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: ... and the tinfoil hat brigade rides in!

      Teach the controversy!

    2. Keef

      Re: ... and the tinfoil hat brigade rides in!

      I've always paid for my masons.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: ... and the tinfoil hat brigade rides in!

        My masons come filled with moonshine :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ... and the tinfoil hat brigade rides in!

          Must be the US. In the UK they're usually full of brandy.

  3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    " ... the primary airframe of the rocket is completely toast and the engines were accordioned up into the frame ... "

    I'd kinda like that as a sculpture for my driveway (if I had a driveway).

    Well, as long as you learn from it etc. It takes time and effort to get these things right. And by that I mean reliable and repeatable right, not right every now and then by accident. Simulations will only get you so far, in the end you'll have to try it out for real. And SpaceX is already a lot further than I thought they would be at this time.

    Anyway, the primary mission was successful, two satellites in geostationary orbit in one go, that's no small feat. Landing the booster after that would have been a nice bonus, but they'll get there soon.

    1. Vic

      I mean reliable and repeatable right, not right every now and then by accident

      These geostationary launches are unlikely ever to be repeatedly reusable - they are working on the very limit of fuel availability. Expect crashes on return.

      Getting the payloaaad aloft is the main goal; getting the first stage back is profit...

      Vic.

  4. ratfox

    Have they reused an engine yet? That's when the big savings will come.

    1. Lamb0

      I believe reusing a booster has been proposed for an upcoming launch for an Indian satellite. With a few engines to cherry pick from and relieve some storage space, hopefully they'll choose some good'uns!

      The customer definitely does get a nice big fat discount for taking a chance... but it's not free. ;<)

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "he customer definitely does get a nice big fat discount for taking a chance... but "

        IIRC SES the comm sat company are keen but they want 50% off standard, while Shotwell is saying 30%

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: "he customer definitely does get a nice big fat discount for taking a chance... but "

          Wouldn't you charge more for the "space tested and verified" engine ?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: "he customer definitely does get a nice big fat discount for taking a chance... but "

            On the other hand, wouldn't you charge less for a second-hand/pre-owned engine? Even if it is one careful only, low mileage (relatively speaking)

            1. Darryl

              Re: "he customer definitely does get a nice big fat discount for taking a chance... but "

              ...only driven by a little old lady to the ISS on Sundays...

  5. Geoff Johnson

    Different approach

    This seemed to slow down much more, almost stop even, long before landing. The others seemed to come in really quick, with the brakes on full right up to the touchdown.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Different approach

      It's called the "Wile E. Coyote" landing.

      You just need a highly visible sensor unsuccessfully checking whether there is ground underneath before fatal excursion event.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Different approach

        "It's called the "Wile E. Coyote" landing."

        Actually, it's usually called a 'suicide burn', because if you get it wrong, your rocket is dead.

        Start burning too late and you slam into the ground/deck, burn too early and you run out of fuel and drop the last bit.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Different approach

      Possibly the calculations were off on the autopilot, as it was so low on fuel?

  6. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Its called a

    suicide burn for good reason.

    but then if its so easy, get yourself a copy of kerbal space program and give it a go.

    and remember that the F9 is flying at the limits of what its capable of with the landing on a drone ship after a geo launch...

  7. Black Betty

    @YACC

    Wrong. Even a single engine at minimum throttle is more than powerful enough to overcome the weight of the empty rocket. By a factor of about 1.7.

    Instead the Falcon performs what is called a hoverslam. A trivial case would be a rocket falling at 20 m/s at 10m above the ground. 2 Gs of thrust is applied for 1 second, for a perfect, Xeno perplexing, touch down at exactly 0.0 m/s.

    The rocket comes in harder than it takes off, (1.7 vs. 1.4 Gs in the case of the Falcon) and being shy just half a second worth of fuel leaves the Falcon hanging, 3.5 m in the air and still coming down at 12.6 km/hr and hitting at better than 20. A quarter of a second short still leaves it falling from head height.

    For the purist, yes I know rockets are always loaded with a slight deficit of oxidiser, so if the tanks are run bone dry, there's no chance of spraying pure oxygen on white hot engine parts and setting them on fire. This is why Elon Musk said they ran out of oxygen rather than fuel.

    1. Raumkraut

      Re: @YACC

      For the purist, yes I know rockets are always loaded with a slight deficit of oxidiser, so if the tanks are run bone dry, there's no chance of spraying pure oxygen on white hot engine parts and setting them on fire. This is why Elon Musk said they ran out of oxygen rather than fuel.

      Ah, good explanation! I was wondering why, after running out of fuel, it went KABOOM rather than just THUNK.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: @YACC

        "Ah, good explanation! I was wondering why, after running out of fuel, it went KABOOM rather than just THUNK."

        Given that the fuel is kerosene, it's more like "woof"

        The big black cloud is a good indicator that it was oxygen-deprived.

        Past RUDs have been a kero/lox mix and that does tend to kaboom. It would be interesting to see the various "leftovers" from failed attempts.

    2. Geoff Johnson

      Re: @YACC

      Thanks. Excellent description.

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Boffin

      "For the purist, yes I know rockets are always loaded with a slight deficit of oxidiser, "

      Historically it's been the heavier propellant (which is usually the oxidizer) that's run to depletion.

      Not for safety reasons as virtually all TSTO's have never come back. It's performance. Less burnout mass means more burnout velocity or more payload.

      There's a chunk of maths around "propellant bias" to calculate what the optimal overload is.

  8. JassMan Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Maybe he should have licenced a SABRE engine

    If the analysis is correct then maybe he should be licencing the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SABRE_(rocket_engine). OK they still have a little way to go before full certification but this looks like a very promising way of pushing stuff up the walls of the gravity well.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Running on fumes ... of the hippie kind.

      Are you stark raving bonkers?

      If they were licensing that, no rocket would be flying yet.

      In April 2015, the SABRE engine concept passed a theoretical feasibility review conducted by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, the lab will reveal two-stage-to-orbit SABRE concepts in the near future, they believe that a single-stage-to-orbit Skylon space plane is "technically very risky as a first application of SABRE engine ," and this is why they are developing two-stage-to-orbit concepts.[24] In August 2015 the European Commission competition authority approved UK government funding of £50 million for further development of the SABRE project. This was approved on the grounds that money raised from private equity had been insufficient to bring the project to completion. Then in October 2015, British company BAE Systems agreed to buy a 20% stake in the company for £20.6 million as part of an agreement to help develop the SABRE hypersonic engine.

      Yeah, incomplete project and BAE gets involved, that's gonna be a good engine for launches with minimal red tape... NOT!!!

      You actually want stuff that works, sooner rather than later. Cutting edge does not need to go into self-cutting bleeding edge.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe he should have licenced a SABRE engine

      SABRE is also not that type of engine. That is for a spaceplane style design. :)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Maybe he should have licenced a SABRE engine

        ..and Sabre in it's current form is not intended to cope with anything big. *IF* SABRE flies and is successful THEN they may start to look at bigger and better. As it stands, even in the 2 stage to orbit scenario, we're looking at fairly small payloads.

        I'm rooting big time for SABRE. A Skylon space plane and a SpaceX reusable heavy lifter might well be an interesting combination, ie big truck and a family car. Same journeys, different jobs.

  9. JeffinLondon
    Mushroom

    Root cause

    Lads

    Insider info is suggesting the landing laser altimeter is at fault - and some are saying the device was either blinded by landing smoke or was heat damaged during the three engine suicide landing burn.

    Musk will likely tweet when ready to go public - all are saying the fix will not be difficult.

    1. JeffyPoooh
      Pint

      Re: Root cause

      JeffinLondon "...landing laser altimeter..."

      They're using a laser altimeter? Obviously they shouldn't trust that beyond a certain point where billowing clouds of smoke could obscure the beam and its reflection. The SW should know when there's no data. The software should be able to use a Kalman filtered GPS plus inertial dead reckoning to figure out the last 20m.

      Or they should add a Lunar Lander 'Contact' probe to several of the legs.

      1. LINCARD1000
        Go

        Re: Root cause

        Well there's your problem right there - the LASER equipped shark they used for altimeter purposes that was strapped to the side obviously caused the rocket to use up more oxidizer as it came in for a landing than they expected.

        SpaceX may wish to investigate the feasibility of using smaller sharks, and perhaps strap two of them to the first stage so they have a back-up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Root cause

      Lads

      Because women aren't interested in such things.

      1. Esme

        Re: Root cause

        Ach, away with ye - this woman wasn't offended by it!

        back to the main subject - It always puzzles me when something perfectly normal and not unexpected happens relating to rocketry and then folk come along and state that they don't believe it, or the explanation given, when they clearly don't understand what's involved. The phrase 'It's not exactly rocket science!' came about to describe something simple because rocketry, whilst conceptually simple is, in practice, very difficult indeed.

        Using Kerbal Space Program, I've found that despite my understanding of the math, I just cannot reliably land on the Mun , the game's Luna-analogue, unless my lander is hideously over-engineered with plenty of fuel. Even on Minmus, and after many many hours of practice, i can't pull off a good suicide burn every time, and that's got about 1/20 G surface gravity as against Munar/Lunar 1/6G. Oh, I can make a good landing evey time, but I tend to waste a fair bit of fuel.

        In real life you don't get to carry large amounts of excess fuel. Doing so makes your ship inefficient and able to carry less payload. Launches to geostationary transfer orbits put the first stage of a Falcon 9 right at the limits of what it can handle. Under those circumstances, it doesnt take more than a few metres out in position (in any axis) or a fraction of a second off in time to make the difference between a landing and a crash. If the thurst goes asymetric at any point due to oxidiaer depletion, it's almost cetainly game over, unless this happens within centimtres of the deck.

        I'm frankly stunned that SpaceX have done so well thus far with their booster recoveries, and utterly delighted about it too. It's been an annus mirabilis in that sense since the first landing.

        As for Sabre - looks tome like a perfectly usable technology, and the testing has been going well, so far as I can see, if slowly. Can't use 'em on VTOL ships as they are intended to boost ships horizontally through the air as they climb, creating oxidiser from the air as they go, then just keep on going on internal tanked oxidiser once the air gets too thin.

        I just hope there's some young lass out there wanting to go knock lumps off rocks on Mars by the time she's 40 that gets her wish realised. My deams were dashed by the lack of activity after Apollo, but I'd still be dead chuffed to see some youngster get to do what i hoped I might. I really REALLY want to know what's going on geologically in Noctis Labrynthus and the upper end of Coprates, and Hellas and the polar regions too, for that matter. :-}

        1. Alistair
          Windows

          Re: Root cause

          Esme:

          Upvoted. You've managed to sum up my perspective. With startlingly similar perspective.

  10. Blipvert
    Trollface

    EURO 2016

    Instead of a barge couldn't they just stretch a large net out and catch the rocket instead?...obviously the net needs to be made out of some kind of futuristic stuff.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: EURO 2016

      They should make the rockets out of unobtanium, which would mean they wouldn't need an fuel at all to get airborne.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: EURO 2016

      The net is the easy part - but you need to make the rocket out of something strong enough to survive being dropped into a net. Cast iron would probably be good.

      Unfortunately it is difficult to make cast iron look nice and shiny for the promotional photos so very few rockets are made out of it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: EURO 2016

      Instead of a barge couldn't they just stretch a large net out and catch the rocket instead?...obviously the net needs to be made out of some kind of futuristic stuff.

      .. and if they made it sufficiently elastic they could catapult it straight back as well. Pointless without a payload, but a good joke to play on the crew.

      Sigh.

      1. 9Rune5

        Re: EURO 2016

        It won't catapult back if you make the rocket pointy-shaped.

        Here, I found a documentary on the subject: https://youtu.be/dmLh1sSFs8Y (<- note the pointy letter at the end of the URL – that Y won't catapult back any time soon!)

    4. cray74

      Re: EURO 2016

      obviously the net needs to be made out of some kind of futuristic stuff.

      Not the net, but the rocket. Landing gear like the Falcon 9 has allows engineers to put the stress from landing in a few select, predictable spots. They can design those spots to endure the weight of the stage and impact with the barge.

      A net landing means the rocket is going to drop its weight onto its engines and flanks in an unpredictable way, with the cords applying point loads to sharp edges of the rocket like its engine bells. That means reinforcing everything rather than landing gear.

      A more structurally viable extension of the net idea is a splashdown. That avoids putting the full weight of the rocket on any cords, but instead smoothly supports it with water pressure. However, a splashdown brings extra headaches from corrosion and possibly thermal shock if the engines were running soon before splashdown. Some rocket designers - like Beal, if I recall correctly - were willing to try a parachute- and airbag-based splashdown. SpaceX preferred a dry landing.

  11. Mikel

    Out of gas

    When the satellite operators are being charged extra not seeing their reusable rocket rebate, this sort of thing may become less common. Some won't care. They will load the thing to the gunnels and then some to keep their bird aloft as long as possible and with as much capability as possible.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Out of gas

      Sat operators are using SpaceX because it's cheaper than the competition - already.

      You can expect that once they have relaunch proven, it will decrease in price a but more but a fundamental rule of business is that you don't sell things for less than it costs to provide _now_ even if it may cost less to provide in future.

  12. Sproggit

    Scale of Expectation

    The thing that I can't help remembering is that we have barely recovered from "Shit! That dude just put a satellite into space and then *landed the first stage in one piece*!!!" As if that wasn't enough, then we got, "Incredible! Now he's landed on a floating, ocean platform!"

    The thing about SpaceX is that unlike, say, Blue Origin, they are willing to fail publicly, fail early and fail often. I remember when they lost a first stage on an earlier flight and their telemetry showed that they had actually run out of hydraulic fluid (because the rocket systems doesn't recycle the stuff). Musk fixed that with a bigger tank for hydraulic oil for future flights... Key thing being, they learn every time...

    As SpaceX become more successful, so we seem to be ramping up our expectations of perfection for each launch. Isn't that a little unfair? SpaceX have delivered more innovation in the last couple of years than the likes of the US, Russian, and other space programs managed in the last two *decades*... What really impresses is their rate of learning.

    For sure they will be much more conservative when it comes to manned flight, but the simple fact is that NASA has made literally hundreds of launches yet it didn't even *occur* to them to try what SpaceX have done and have made work... You have to wonder what Mush could achieve if given the same budget that NASA spent on the Shuttle orbiters...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scale of Expectation

      I hope they'll have something stable enough to exit the "willing to fail" mode before they start shipping people upwards, but I agree - they have made amazing progress. Well done.

  13. Milton

    Engines and SSTO

    Nice to see a mention for Reaction Engines (http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/), who are doing some seriously cool stuff which actually looks technically credible. It's frustrating that they are being funded at a trickle and, I confess, it irritates the hell out of me that stupid stunts like Branson's publicity-stunt pretend-astronaut nonsense gets so much cash and attention while the RE guys struggle with a credible Single Stage To Orbit concept that could revolutionise space travel (in the way that the ghastly abortion Shuttle was supposed to).

    I sympathise with those puzzled by the footage of the crash landing. It did look as if the rocket had cancelled all its vertical velocity. 'Running out of oxidiser' had led me to expect the ship coming in a little too hot and making impact with too high a sink rate. It must be pretty galling to have run out of the last kilo of oxidiser only five metres above the pad. Is that really what happened?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Engines and SSTO

      Unfortunately when it comes to landings the last few meters are rather critical.

      I'm the same with ladders, knowing that it's the ground that hurts you I'm unable to step down from the last rung and have to go back up to the top where I know I'm safe.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Engines and SSTO

      It must be pretty galling to have run out of the last kilo of oxidiser only five metres above the pad. Is that really what happened?

      It's called "range anxiety", something Musk is surely familiar with.

    3. graeme leggett

      Re: Engines and SSTO

      I'm with you on the Reaction Engines work but have come a pragmatic accommodation with the bearded one's self-promoting rocketplanery.

      Basically the more people we can get up in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, the closer we get to sending a FlatEarther up sufficiently high that they go 'Shit, there isn't a domelike firmament' and 'I can see a curve' and we quash those conspiracy nuts and literal scripture types back into to a tiny part of the internet where even birthers and 9/11 truthers laugh at them.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

        Re: Engines and SSTO

        Basically the more people we can get up in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, the closer we get to sending a FlatEarther up sufficiently high that they go 'Shit, there isn't a domelike firmament' and 'I can see a curve' and we quash those conspiracy nuts and literal scripture types back into to a tiny part of the internet where even birthers and 9/11 truthers laugh at them.

        The problem is that flat-earthers simply won't believe their eyes, and claim it is just an optical illusion caused by the spherical nature of the lenses in their eyes. I have literally heard them use that argument. I was tempted to explain the difference between illusions and delusions, but ultimately found it a waste of time. None are so deaf as those who do not want to hear.

    4. MrDamage

      Re: Is that what really happened?

      Give me a thumbs up for anyone who reads this, that has ran out of petrol/gas less than half a mile away from the petrol station.

      I know I have.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Engines and SSTO

      It happens when you play KSP about just as often. Some of the Luna landings also cut it very very fine.

  14. Little Mouse

    "the engines couldn't take it"?

    Musk should employ a plucky Scotsman to tell him when the engines are reaching their physical limits...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "the engines couldn't take it"?

      That's what we used to say about working with GEC.

      It was obvious that they supplied the Enterprise's engines.

      Why did Kirk always win?

      Because GEC also did the weapons systems for the Klingons

  15. ecarlseen

    Ugh

    It's like when your friend is filling up their car and they insist they only need $20 worth of gas to get there...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try under 100m away from the petrol station on approach to its roundabout. That was embarrassing...

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      How about passing one petrol station because I was sure the next one was cheaper and then running out halfway there?

      1. cray74

        How about passing one petrol station because I was sure the next one was cheaper and then running out halfway there?

        I haven't stalled out for lack of gas, but I once did pull into a station expecting to find a gallon left and ended up putting 18.2 gallons into an 18-gallon tank.

  17. Blipvert
    Trollface

    Does Elon read The Register?

    I hope SpaceX appreciates the Commentards helpful suggestions as to where they're going wrong?

  18. Dave 32
    Coat

    Engines are hard

    Rocket engines are nontrivial. Not only do you have white hot pieces of metal trying to contain a high pressure burning fuel, but you also have to ensure that the oxidizer doesn't impact the walls, else it will cause a burn-through. And, that has to be done at any throttle setting. Oh, and you have to make sure that the thing doesn't begin to oscillate in any matter (Think of a whistle.).

    Starting a rocket engine is nontrivial, too, since you really need to inject the fuel and oxidizer such that there isn't an explosive mixture present at any time before ignition, else the pressure wave will shatter the thing. Restarting one, especially in space, is even trickier, given that the fuel (and oxidizer) isn't always positioned correctly in the tanks (Consider ullage rockets.). And, restarting multiple rockets engines in space is even trickier, since, if one ignites first, the thrust imbalance may cause a spin or destructive torque on the vehicle.

    Thus, I'm amazed that he's had the successes that he has had, and has even come close.

    As a friend of mine, who wrote most of the FCS (Flight Control Software) for the Space Shuttles, once said "It is rocket science!".

    Dave

    P.S. My friend also compared the flight characteristics of the Space Shuttles to a number of uncomplimentary items, such as "A Buick with the doors open", "A garbage truck", or, most commonly, "A flying brick". ;-)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021