Don't Leave The Lights On!
Stereo blaring is ok, but hopefully the headlights are turned off so as to not PO any astronomers.
After years of setbacks, SpaceX today successfully launched its Falcon Heavy three-in-one rocket and delivered into orbit its cherry-red payload – Elon Musk's very own Tesla Roadster. After a morning of delays due to high winds, the mighty rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39, in Florida, USA, at …
It's a little too much Austin Powers for my taste, eccentric billionaire puts his own car into space with a 'dummy' at the wheel ... just as Ebay announces that they are going to stop using Paypal and are lining up Adyen.
"So mister Pieter van der Does, you thought you could take business away from me, did you? Consider the futility of your actions as you slowly orbit the earth, until your oxygen runs out. Feel free to hit the horn as often as you like."
I got the Headline but thought everyone would get it !!!
Don't tell me that 'Star Bores' is the only classic SciFi Film the current generation now knows :(
[Never could get the fervour for Star Wars as the original book was awful beyond measure ..... given to me, as I liked SciFi, by an old boss. I read it as a courtesy but found it to be more a hackneyed Space Opera than any great Drama/Adventure.]
Downvotes are this way :)
I was not knocking 'Space Opera' as a Genre as I did specify 'Hackneyed'.
Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books, 'The Foundation Trilogy' of Seven Books!!!??? & Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey Series are a perfect example of the Genre that is good !!!
Virtually anything by Ben Bova is 'Space Opera' on a grand scale :) ;)
Also Larry Niven's Ringworld Series.
Should be enough there to keep you entertained for a few weeks !!!
<Start major debate here about what books are or are not 'Space Opera'---> > :) :)
Someone actually downvoted you. I can't believe there are 4 people who actually had a complete and utter humour failure to downvote you on this. Really. REALLY? What's wrong with you people! :-O
That said... Damn nice job, Elon and your Musketeers. Well done. Does the Tesla have rockets behind the headlights like any good Bond vehicle? ;-)
Elon and his band of 'Rocketeers' gets a doff of the Cap and Hearty Congrats !!!
So impressed with the Synchronised Landing .... looked Stunning even though as advised elsewhere they are just following an identical program to land the Boosters.
Very Thunderbirds [Original Supermarionation Version] only could not see the strings <Grin>
In terms of the Downvotes for daring to cast aspersions on 'Star Wars' .... totally expected hence the Arrow.
My only response is Jar Jar Binks !!!
Nuff Said. :)
2001 A Space Odyssey is one the pinnacles of Space Opera and we have Stanley Kubrick to thank for that. The book by Arthur C. Clarke wasn't all that great but the movie sure was! But that headline most definitely restores some long lost memories of a simpler time and place within the hallowed halls of Science Fiction greats!
Now I do wish Elon Musk and the Space-X cast and crew all the best in helping humanity get us off this rock! Go Boldly! Where Noone has gone before! And do remember......DON'T PANIC !!!!!!!!
P.S. So long and thanks for all the fish!
P.S.2. Have a Byte. 01010110 It's Good Fer Ya!
Correct by the original definition but it has evolved a little over time as authors expanded the 'Pot' to choose from :)
Hence my comment re: Debating what is or is not 'Space Opera'
From the Wikipedia entry for 'Space Opera':
Notable space opera novels include the Foundation series (1942–1999) by Isaac Asimov, the Lensman series (1948–1954) by E. E. Smith and the Ender's Game series (1985–present) by Orson Scott Card. An early notable space opera film was Flash Gordon (1936) created by Alex Raymond. In the late 1970s, the Star Wars franchise (1977–present) created by George Lucas brought a great deal of attention to the subgenre.
I tend to agree with the definition as above but concede that there is lots of room for debate :)
Space Opera is not by definition 'Bad' but many authors have written 'Epics' in the style of and tended towards more 'Flash Gordon (1936)' rather than something like the Foundation Series IMHO.
I Do like a GOOD Space Opera as it can provide an 'awful' (Ba Dum Tish) lot of entertainment ..... I am from a generation that read books and did not speed read everything (although I do read quickly and can finish a typical paperback in 1 day).
Wikipedia is wrong. The original Foundation series* (originally magazine episodes) is not much like Space Opera. EE "Doc" Smith was (First novel about 1928 and he more or less invented the genre), Flash Gordon too.
I agree Space Opera can be good or bad. Star Wars original trilogy is a mix of Space Opera and Fantasy. He basically killed the fantasy later with stupid SF "explanations".
[* IMO the later written Foundation books and all Asimov after 1979 is much inferior. I think between 1957 & 1979 he didn't write SF?]
I did mention that this was subject to great debate !!! ;)
I can see your point and do not call things 'Space Opera' as a denigration.
I have read all the well known output of Asimov, Clarke and many many others enjoying them all .... overall. Some were better than others BUT that was/is to be expected.
Of course as they & their readers got older and reality caught up with some of the ideas they may be seen as less impressive.
Personally, I read all things with a view to the worldview and knowledge that was contemporaneous with the writing/publication of the Story.
It is part of the enjoyment for me to understand what was known at the time things were written and appreciate the flight of fancy or extrapolation of facts that the author(s) took.
Try it with something like H G Wells Classics and appreciate how far he projected ideas/accepted knowledge of the time and reflected the concerns of the then world. It can give a whole new set of nuances to your understanding/appreciation of his Stories.
Ditto with most of the Classic SciFi IMHO.
P.S. Still think the Headline is a Blinding Classic and should win a prize or Something, absolutely Love it !!!
>2001 A Space Odyssey is one the pinnacles of Space Opera and we have Stanley Kubrick to thank for that. The book by Arthur C. Clarke wasn't all that great but the movie sure was!
I thought the book was better than the film but it's almost always the case as in literature you can be more expansive and so much gets missed out when moving to celluloid*.
*Note to younger readers, celluloid is what they used to use to make movies and books were a collection of paper pages with typed words.
>DON'T PANIC !!!!!!!!
The Brain the size of a planet.......and they ask me to park cars.
"The book by Arthur C. Clarke wasn't all that great but the movie sure was!"
You guys _do_ realise that the book and the film were written at the same time don't you? (Clark and Kubrick collaborated fully on both)
It was one of the earliest examples of a book spinning off as part of a movie project (as was the Star Wars book), Clarke write quite a bit about the creation of both (and the visual gags in 2001 that few people spotted, such as the PanAm shuttle toilet)
Agree on the headline. Well played.
If memory serves correctly since its in the vicinity of 60 years but Clark wrote a short story "Monument" that served as the framework for the opener and there was another short story that had served for beginning of the main story.
Will Jenkins (Mauray Leinster) held the patent of the system used for those great space shots.
Wasn't the book written essentially *after* the film? I forget the timeline now, but I remember there was a short story first, and then perhaps the film and then the book? Somewhere (or, more likely, long lost) I have a book which has a description by Clarke of how it all happened.
The short story was called The Sentinel, and told essentially of the discovery of an alien monolith on the Moon. Then Clarke and Kubrick expanded on it (first monolith on Earth, trip to Jupiter...), giving birth to the full-length novel 2001 and the Kubrick movie.
The original short story was The Sentinel and this was suggested as a start by Clark when Kubrik came to him with the idea of "a good science fiction film". Development of the book and film carried on, pretty much, side by side.
This is documented in the book The Lost Worlds of 2001.
The original story was "The Sentinel" and ends with the narrator wondering if the "builders" might not have become cranky in their old age, jealous of younger races. The movie begins with that and then builds on a "singularity" like concept of "evolution." (Evolution really has no direction its headed in so YMMV.) Some of the movie has concepts that probably really hark from Childhood's End. There was no original book as such, just a novelized version of the movie.
"Some of the movie has concepts that probably really hark from Childhood's End."
And even earlier short stories. Clarke returned to the idea that other intelligent life had an interest in Earth over and over again.
I'm currently working my way through The Collected Stories Of Arthur C. Clarke (GOLLANCZ S.F.) on Kindle and the theme is there in several of the stories. I've got as far as The Sentinel, and the stories are in chronological order so his fascination with the idea pre-dates The Sentinel.
It's not space opera.
It's visually stunning with good soundtrack. However about 1/2 of it is very boring for many people. Forbidden Planet is less physically accurate, but more compelling story.
Interesting how many parts of FP seem to turn up in ST-TOS and other later films and series.
"However about 1/2 of it is very boring for many people."
Many people or "mundanes" as they are better known. The one's whose imaginations don't stretch much further than those of the first scenes shown in 2001. Just keep banging the rocks together, guys.
So what happened? No idea if the booster that was furthest from the booster landing cam actually landed. The video feed cut before they landed, and the booster that was furthest from the cam looked to be less than vertical <1 sec before landing. Did the centre stage land on the barge? I'm not saying this wasn't awesome, because it was, but could SpaceX give a bit more transparency, please? Even if only one of the three 1st stages landed, I for one would class that as a success.
The two boosters landed. Enough people watching to say if one did topple. But as always, with any "flight", actual accidents are first confirmed, and safety followed. Thus the centre stage is assumed "gone" for us public. We will wait to find out if the barge is still there or in another wording "everywhere" now.
That was my first thought when I saw the video. About 2 seconds later I realized that it was no such thing.
They were identical booster stages. Filled with identical amounts of fuel and oxidizer. Burning propellant at identical rates. Which separated at the same time. Which had to fall through the same atmosphere and execute the identical landing manoeuvres to land at nearly the same place (not enough fuel for them to travel far away from each other).
It would have been harder to make them not land simultaneously.
Still looked pretty damned cool. But it wasn't show-boating.
@handleoclast "...Still looked pretty damned cool. But it wasn't show-boating...."
You're absolutely right, of course. But I defy anyone with a spark of imagination not to have felt a huge 'Wow' on seeing it.
For myself - I cheered. And my second thought was "New Olympic Event! Synchronised Rocket Landing!"
Watched the live stream with a giant idiot-grin on my face!
Noticed that the 2 booster feeds were actually from the same booster - you can see as the approach the ground that both views are heading for the same pad and you can see the flame from the other booster in the top edge of the view, but they both landed almost simultaneously and I was very impressed.
Slightly disappointed for SpaceX that the centre core failed its landing - hopefully the boat fix isn't too expensive (certainly cheaper than replacing 3 F9 stage 1s!). It certainly doesn't look like any shade of failure from my point of view. Round of applause and a round of beers for everyone involved!
I spotted that too, (the two pads, earlier in the feed, had two different logos). I suspect that *right* after the separation the port booster camera got thwacked by one off the connector components as it fell away.
I co-opted the 65" plasma in the living room to watch this. My kid and my wife seem to think there might be something wrong with me for cheering like an idiot at rockets and ignoring the
HungerGameurr SaladBowlSuper Bubble.
The shot of the boosters landing. *Dear GOD* that was stunning.
> "I hope musk put a teapot in the boot and never tells anyone.. just keeps it to himself so he will always know."
And if Musk should die? Then no one will ever be sure if that teapot is there or not, or... both.
Besides, someday someone WILL claim to have put one in there, that much we can be sure of. So basically the teapot problem hasn't changed, it's just moved inside that boot.
"So, Bertrand Russell. Never mind a teapot, it's a red electric car orbiting the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars."
I'm sure that person in the space suit is on the lookout for the teapot, and will grab it to hook up to the infinite improbability drive in the Tesla. If we suddenly lose contact with it, we'll know. Might be why the video feed from the sea platform landing cut out early, whale landed on it.
Given the latest reports that Tesla build quality is on a par with 1990s Kia (https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.carthrottle.com/post/amp/tesla-model-3-built-like-a-1990s-kia-says-engineering-firm/), I suspect that this is the only way that Elon Musk could think of to best Volvo in the longevity (age and mileage) stakes.
“If I were one of the 6000 people that worked on it, I'd be cheering too.”
Even as someone not working on it, I had a brief, internal and silent ‘British” cheer moment. A South African billionaire with US enthusiasm sending a car playing Bowie towards mars. IT billionaires do seem to have a more generous and optimistic view of what can be achieved with their money than most.
Agree! It was awesome to watch the live feed!
I had goosebumps and hair raised on my arms and legs, fingers crossed 30 seconds before launch!
Then watching those two rockets land simultaneously, side by side made my jaw whack the ground! Bloody awesome!
As Meatloaf cries, “two out of three ain’t bad.”
He's running a business. Marketing is required.
And he couldn't even give the launch opportunity away to anyone...
But wait a minute. This is not entirely surprising. A worthwhile payload big enough to warrant such a launch would itself be massively expensive. And if anyone had built such a payload, they'd have been putting all their money into that first launch being successful. On the face of it, a difficult proposition for almost anyone who is spending other people's money building payloads.
Now that they've got that first launch out of the way with 100% success (a payload owner wouldn't give a damn about the post-boost loss of one of the cores), there will now be satellite operators out there seriously contemplating what opportunities such a launch capability offers. They're going to need wild imaginations to get a payload up to that kind of size. Even if they don't come up with anything, SpaceX can launch two really big geo sats at once (compared to, say, Ariane 5 ECA's one).
Interestingly, Ariane 5 ECA makes do with one liquid fuelled engine and a couple of solid boosters for the first stage, and can lift 11 tons to GTO. To beat that by more than 100%, SpaceX have used 27 engines and no solid boosters. Goes to show just how hard it is to scale up a rocket.
Anyway, whilst that was deeply impressive, it's not a patch on how NASA's SLS is going to be. Now that really, truly is a biiiiiiig rocket.
Scaling rockets? The SLS?
If the SLS does actually fly and work properly as I expect it will, it will indeed be amazing, but given the price advantage SpaceX has just shown it's got over the competition, it's not certain the SLS will ever go into serious service.
But that doesn't really matter.
The fabulous thing SpaceX just did was launch a hugely heavy lift capacity, massively multi-engined rocket, and done it fully successfully, on the first attempt, and then recovered two out of three sections of the first stage! That is, like, totally amazing, man. I for one am completely blown away - that simultaneous landing of the first stage boosters? Oh wow! The future is here, man, it's here! Sod yer flying cars!
I recall that Jim Steinman, using the voice of Meat Loaf, explained that two out of three ain't bad a very long time ago.
As for scaling rockets - well, there's a lot of ways of making heavy lift space launchers. The Saturn V did it with five engines in the first stage. Getting the F1 engines to run without exploding took a lot of work. The Space Shuttle used three hydrogen/oxygen engines plus two solid fuel boosters - the liquid fuelled main engines were heavily informed by the Saturn V experience. It's hard to get really big rocket engines working well.
Ariane 5 ECA uses one liquid fuelled and two solid fuelled boosters and don't ask me how the ESA managed to get that big main engine working properly but they did - probably using a lot of computer modelling beyond what was possible/practical back when they were developing the big F1 engines for the Saturn V. The Soviets tried the N1 with 30 engines in the first stage but never got it working properly. One problem they had was that if one engine blew up, it made a mess of its surroundings. I gather that SpaceX's designs have robust screening between engines to mitigate such problems.
Basic rocket science isn't that tricky - Newton had it sussed back in the 1600s. But engineering big rockets to work reliably is hard. Making them cheap is even harder. Great day, just a great day!
P.S. That "dummy" in the car. Is Elon worried about competition from other upstart space firms? Blue Origin springs to mind. Has anyone heard from Jeff Bezos lately? ;-)
Evidently a bunch of Canadian beat Space-X to the punch on building a truly large rocket system:
Canadian Ultra Heavy Lift Rocket (800,000 Lbs or 362,000 Kg lift capacity) PDF file:
However, whether it has been tested fully yet is a whole 'nother story!
Me thinks its presentation document for internal use by the company that is building this.
What? Since when have we been able to simulate mass?
Er, if you design a rocket to lift 26 tons then you pretty much have to put 26 tons on the top to make the thing fly as intended. If the payload you're launching doesn't actually weight that much, you have to make up the difference with ballast.
This is actually a real bonus for "amateur" satellite builders. Because no payload ever gets built to weigh the exact amount the rocket can lift, there's always some ballast. The launch companies realised that instead of launching useless ballast they might just as well give away payload opportunities to people wanting to put up microsats. It can cost as little as £50,000 to launch something, well within the budget of a University department.
Yes, but I wouldn't ask clients to contract to something so iffy. I'd have gathered student projects, good, bad or indifferent, and offer no guarantees, beyond minimal telemetry where needed for a project: say a cam and mic for each.
The car gives nobody anything by way of science or inspiration.
"You, or any other "normal person" (whatever that means!), could easily "nip off down to the shops" in a bog-stock, as shipped to the moon, Lunar Rover. If you had one in your garage, of course."
FFS, getting stupid now.
Seeing as you cannot infer the meantime of normal in my sentence I don't hold out much hope for you being able to figure out the difference between a mass market vehicle and a fucking moon buggy.
>The car gives nobody anything by way of science or inspiration.<
No, but it's pure PR - and good PR, too. If SpaceX had just lifted a block of concrete to orbit then the launch might have been given a few seconds of coverage on the news because it's a new rocket. But because of the car & everything else associate with it ('Life On Mars' on the stereo, HHGTTG & a towel in the glovebox, etc) everyone's talking about it - even those with absolutely no interest in space technology
> Er, if you design a rocket to lift 26 tons then you pretty much have to put 26 tons on the top to make the thing fly as intended. If the payload you're launching doesn't actually weight that much, you have to make up the difference with ballast.
Right, that is actual mass, not simulated mass.
You call it junk but I, for one, find it comforting to think that when all life is gone from this planet and the Sun swells to such an extent that it consumes the Earth; there will still be a Spaceman chilling out there in his car with the top down, Bowie in the tape deck and emblazoned across the dashboard (in big friendly letters,) the words "DON'T PANIC!".
I guess Elon Musk is a huge fan of Star Trek Voyager then? Episode 1 from season 2 - The 37's
Where a rusty old pickup truck from the 30's is found floating around the delta quadrant
At least this is a more environmentally friendly Tesla electric car heh
"Any aliens who encounter it along the way will no doubt conclude that humans are crazy."
Simply finding an automobile in orbit is pretty much the equivalent of noticing someone wore 2 mismatched socks compared to the big crazy some dozen miles below. I mean standing naked in the rain painted purple strumming a cheese grater and screaming "F you and the atom bomb too!" crazy down below....
BTW, shouldn't he have launched the Supercharger station first?
Yes, I'm no fan of his electric cars, but Musk certainly showed that he can pull a great engineering team together.
Brings back happy memories of watching Saturn V Apollo launches as a child (also only on TV, fingers crossed I'll get to see a Falcon Heavy launch in person one day) and that twin landing was superb.
but at the end of the day it was a successful launch of a new heavy-lifter which shows the leaps that technology has made over the last 20 years and will (hopefully) help us ageing sci-fi fans dream that maybe we can make that great leap before we shuffle off this mortal coil.
"In the front seat was a dummy wearing a SpaceX-designed spacesuit, at least that's what we're told. Some have speculated this is a foolproof way to dump a dead body."
White fireproof overalls, white helmet, dark visor ... some say he can breathe in outer sapce, some say he comes from mars ... we only know he is the Stig.
.... seems unlikely given their space rivalry but has Belos got Musk to dispose of the one bit of TopGear he couldn't buy as a warning to the BBC?
I'm curious how long space dude will be able to broadcast. Like does the test payload have solar panels or just a battery. Eventually he'll be out of range (presuming NASA won't allocate any time on their deep space network for this mission). But will his orbit bring him back within range of Earth somewhere down the ... road.
No solar panels but the Tesla has a big battery, probably 85kWh or for those who prefer more official El Reg units about 70,833 small (aka AAA) gold topped batteries.
Plenty of power but once the rocket engine fires up to push it into the heliocentric orbit we wont have an HD signal for long.
Well done, son!
As a side note, El Reg's resident musical sub-editor had better go to the BBC. El Beeb said the music on loop was Space Oddity. Gulp! Every fule no that would be an inauspicious track (with a less-than-happy ending) to use on such a flight. It was of course the more famous title track to the gritty Northern police drama starring Philip Glenister and John Simm.
I suspect Musk may be a fan of the "Soft Landing" opening sequence of the Heavy Metal movie (animation film 1980). A 57 Chevvy, released from a shuttle making re-entry with an astronaut at the wheel.
Sounds crazy but it's cool as hell with some great music!
> I know! I'm rich, I'll send it to Mars where I can't be jailed for illegal dumping!
Sending it into the Sun would have been easier than Mars, work with the gravity well, not against.
I suspect it's more likely he is trying to colonize Mars, I deduce there are seeds of some type (you probably don't want to shine a blacklight on the upholstery...) in the car that will be released onto Mars.
“To get to the sun, it is actually not necessary to use a Δv of 24 km/s. One can use 8.8 km/s to go very far away from the sun, then use a negligible Δv to bring the angular momentum to zero, and then fall into the sun.”
No-one said it had to -remain- at the sun, just had to get there.
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Sending it into the Sun would have been easier than Mars, work with the gravity well, not against.
The sun is the most difficult body in the solar system to get to, because you need to cancel out all of the orbital velocity that you already have by virtue of launching from Earth.
It's not going to Mars. The aim was for a Mars transfer orbit, which is an elliptical orbit around the Sun. Looks like they overshot (more or less intentionally, they just burned the rocket until the fuel ran out) and it's now headed for the asteroids. Which is deeply, deeply cool.
Stuff like starting up a 27 engine vehicle (biggest since the Russian N-1, which never achieved a single full launch), guiding a payload about 5800x further than GEO, synchronizing the landings of 3 booster stages.
The big surprise is the claim the 3rd booster took out the landing barge, given all the other failed recoveries left the barge pretty much intact.
"The big surprise is the claim the 3rd booster took out the landing barge, given all the other failed recoveries left the barge pretty much intact."
It's been reported that only one of the three engines required to land it lit up and it came in at about 300mph (or was it 300kph?)
I blew coffee all over the keyboard at that synchrolanding.
Then it became hilarious when they had to quickly bring in the fixer guy who could, at the same time, walk, chew gum and generate a zesty announcement that lawyers cannot glom onto when it became clear that the core was gone and the two designated announcers were about to mismanage the situation.
The bottom two views from the side launchers coming in to land were probably meant to show the camera shots from each individual booster, but they are actually just duplicates from the one camera on one of the boosters - this is clearly visible at the end as they come in to land on Landing Zones 1 & 2 and 'both' rockets land on the same LZ.
This takes nothing away from the achievement and the external shots clearly show the near simultaneous landing, but in the interest of completeness I thought I'd point it out before the conspiracy theorist/flat earth nutters get their teeth into it.
But, as you say, Awesome.
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Noo! The Earth-Moon L1 & L2 points are more useful. So L1 as the location of a proper space station acting as a waystation between Earth and Moon. The kinda thing a 'cheap' heavy lift rocket could help build. Then have lunar robo-dozers feeding dust into a lunarcrete fab plant (or solar forge?) to make segments for a Mars ship. Kinda like the segments used to line the Crossrail and other tunnels. Lift a few loads of epoxy & bolts and assemble at the L1 waystation. Make a few of those and use'em as tube trains to Mars. Simple!.. Well, in my head anyway.. :)
"The exact point of gravitational balance between the Earth and the Moon" is not very useful actually, depending on how you define "gravitational balance". The spot where the Earth and the Moon pull on you equally in opposite directions is nowhere near stable actually - the spot where the difference between those two exactly balances out the effects of your orbital speed around Earth is the one you're looking for (and known as "L1", with others all the way to "L5" )
Park the car at the exact point of gravitational balance between the Earth and the Moon?
L1 and L2 are both meta-stable. Like balancing a marble on top of a needle. You can do it, but the slightest nudge...
L4 or L5 is a better bet. Both stable. Well, for small(ish) nudges.
OTOH, another (less precise) way of describing L1 and L1 is "unstable." So perhaps a perfect place for Assange.
I plopped for the "feel the heat" package for $230 which meant you got bussed to the Saturn V center, about 3 miles from the pad and 9 miles from the landing zones. We stopped on the way at the Shuttle Landing Facility to see the plaque where Atlantis rolled to a stop in 2011 at the end of the last Shuttle mission. That was unexpected. The 4.5km long 100m wide strip is a huge piece of tarmac.
Anyway, there were no winds locally, they were all high-altitude and you could see wisps of clouds skidding over. It was a beautiful perfect Florida day. Sunny, 78F and barely any clouds.
Bill Nye was there to stump for people to join The Planetary Society. He's actually got a nice sense of humor.
Most of us figured there was about a 30% chance it would launch, and we were wasting our time. People didn't think it would go "boom" but they also realized most "first" launches get scrubbed 2 or 3 times.
If you think the SpaceX people were cheering and yelling, they didn't have nuthin' on this crowd. When they announced fueling start, people went nuts. When they announced "go" for the launch at 3pm, people went nuts.
We got to hear the SpaceX webcast without the usual 10 second delay.
It was REALLY LOUD. AND BRIGHT. It was welding-torch bright. And yes, we were warned to stay away from the Saturn V center glass windows, which was a good idea as you could hear the entire building shaking at launch from 100 feet away. Of course you were shaking too. Megadeth & AC/DC only wish they could get a bass rumble that deep and loud.
You could see the boosters fall away, then they were two bright dots overhead for the re-entry burn, then they fell some more, and finally they did that synchronized science-fiction landing just to the left of the VAB, from where we were sitting. Just amazing. You couldn't script something that looked so much like a '50s sci-fi movie.
Just after they landed, there was the 4 sonic booms BAM-BAM, BAM-BAM, and then the rumble of the landing rockets, as the sound finally got to us.
Afterwards, we got a complementary champagne toast in a nice glass keepsake that says "Falcon Heavy Test Mission 2018", and a SpaceX Falcon Heavy hat, and a red "Falcon Heavy: I was there" t-shirt. So it was literally "been there, got the t-shirt"
Worth every nickle.
I find it thoroughly amusing that in the case any aliens ever actually find and retrieve the puzzling object they found in orbit around the Sun (assuming no other knowledge of us down here), the real explanation of what it is and how and why it got up there will eternally stay relegated to "crackpot conspiracy theory" territory - no sane alien archaeologist will ever subscribe to "purely because we can and because it's cool, no practical purpose whatsoever"...
The Voyagers are less likely to be hit by a stray lump of space rock. Also, any non-metal parts on the Tesla will degrade and crumble over time because they weren't designed with exposure to space-level radiation in mind.
It's quite likely though that a few hundred years on a metal hunk roughly the shape of a Tesla Roadster, with a desiccated human corpse with a few scraps of what used to be a space suit about it behind the wheel, will still be orbiting the Sun. At the same time the Voyagers will be hurtling towards AC+79 3888 and Ross 248 respectively, and probably more intact than that Roadster will be.
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The center core did not run out of the main fuel. Apparently it ran out of the hypergolic igniter fuel TEA/TEB so that it could not ignite the rocket engines for the landing burn. As a result it crashed into the sea with 500 km/h.
PS. Have a look at the press conference with Elon.
Firstly, this is an awesome achievement and for any mission this is a win, they have loads of data that can improve the thing(s) that went wrong.
Visually, on the landing descent, the centre core looked like it was going to slam into the ocean. There's normally a noticeable amount of flame even when the engines aren't fired up - I'm guessing this must be a steady flow of the igniter fuel you mention, this was absent on the centre core to my untrained eyes so it must have run out a fair way before the landing zone.
All you rocket scientists out there
Assuming that the video feed from the car continues indefinitely, at what point will it have to stop to buffer owing to time delay?
Or will the stream just get a little slower every now and then? If the music is playing would this be noticed?
I can't get my head around it. Need more coffee.
It's already playing more slowly to us - just imperceptibly so, taking 1.00000000000001 [number made up] seconds on the ground to play 1 second of music from the car. It'll add up to an increasingly long lag.
On the return part of the loop, when it's flying towards us, it'll take 0.9999999999999999 [number made up] seconds on the ground to play 1 second of music as-played-in-car.
It's a bit like Doppler shifting sirens on ambulances going past you.
Surfing the news and came upon the live feed about 30 seconds before the launch.
Some restrained cheering, plus a heartfelt "fucking hell!" when the two boosters landed.
A big demerit for not having planned to watch it.
Would have been nice to see Pork Hogthrob in the passenger seat, though.
Apple Maps even at its worst has absolutely *nothing* on the howlers the Tesla SatNav can perpetrate.
Fortunately, I hear there's a completely new SatNav application due to land Real Soon Now, and being an honourable company Tesla will roll it out to all their cars using the OTA update mechanism.
"Fortunately, I hear there's a completely new SatNav application due to land Real Soon Now, and being an honourable company Tesla will roll it out to all their cars using the OTA update mechanism."
Hopefully the space Tesla will still be in range for the OTA update, or it might get lost.
Elon Musk gave said in the news conference that they had run out of TEA/TEB (triethylaluminium / trielthylborane) ingnitor mix, so only one of the 3 engines started on the final approach. Reports of propellant running out are incorrect and being widely reported.. as usual. El Reg can do better! Running out of tea seems so HHGttG though...
At the time of writing, it was suspected the engines ran out of fuel. We weren't invited to the press conference. Can't think why. Anyway, it ran out of ignitor, so... close enough, ish. We've tweaked the article and another piece is coming.
To be fair the central core nearly made it back intact, this is merely proof that the technology can be improved.
One intriguing thing I did read is that the Falcon engines are made of materials that did not exist in 1967. A lot of the problems with the Russian N-1 were simple engineering issues such as not having filters on the fuel line(s) and with time could have been fixed.
The N1 had a lift capacity 1.3* that of the Falcon Heavy but was not intended to be reusable.
The Falcon Heavy is now officially the most powerful reusable rocket flying today,
I thought the main stage crashed and burned? It's a fantastic achievement but the "core failure" disqualifies the use of the term reusable: this is rocket science and it is hard.
Nice timing by Musk to try and distract attention from the mounting financial problems at Tesla.
As a forty 'something' year old with four kids of my own. For a few minutes last night I genuinely felt like a kid again. Watching the car in space and then the side boosters landing.. just wow ! That alone is enough to convince me to buy one of his cars, when I can afford it.
I was aged one when Armstrong landed on the moon. I'm told that I was kept awake to see it, but I don't remember.
My childhood was filled with the wonder and possibility of space travel. As I grew up in the seventies and eighties it seemed that within my life time the heavens would yield up to mankind and to science.
It didn't, and that made me into a more cynical adult than I might've been.
Today, I watched that launch and, more amazingly, the science-ficitonesque return of the boosters to Earth, and my hope was re-awakened. I might just believe that I'll see a Mars landing in my lifespan yet.
I'll be honest with you, as I also happen to be a huge Bowie fan, when I saw that mad car, with the comical dummy in it, orbiting the Earth to the strains of my favourite tracks and realized what it represented...
...I nearly wept.
I'm old enough to have watched the first moon landing, it was spectacular. Seeing yesterday's launch, and booster recovery (2 out of 3 ain't bad) reminded me of the confidence and optimism of that time. We could actually do things, BIG things. I have doubted SpaceX in the past but have to admit they know what they are doing and could be leading the way to bigger and better things.
And, who are the 2,500+ people who down voted the live video stream from the car? How can you not like that?!
I was aged one when Armstrong landed on the moon. I'm told that I was kept awake to see it, but I don't remember.
I was nine, and desperately wanted to see it, having followed all the Apollo programme. I was told that I couldn't be allowed to stay up that late (3am?) on a Sunday night, and I remember going to bed in tears.
But I also remember my Mum waking me in the small hours of the morning, she and Dad had talked and decided it was just too historic an event for my sister & I to miss. We all sat in front of the TV eating toast :) and watched that fuzzy live broadcast of Neil Armstrong's small step. I've always been so grateful to them for reconsidering and, like you, I hope the next generations will have the chance to finally continue that giant leap.
"Science. It works, bitch."
Should have had that written on the side of the Boosters in 3 foot high Letters !!!
You have been upvoted :)
I am a fan of 'Real' Engineering but I suppose there is some skill in creating Plastic Crap that dies 1 day after the Warranty runs out !!!
Both require knowledge/skills but I know which one I would prefer to be working in !!! :)
Mixed success? I don't see it that way. There are *no* reusable orbital competitors at this point in time, maybe ever. The loss of the center core is pretty minor, in the scheme of things. SpaceX is so successful that Arianespace is cobbling together a FH clone of sorts. Imitation is absolutely the highest form of flattery..