Shit name. Yawnfest.
With the subversive names of his landing barges I'd have thought he could come up with something less dull than that. BFR is still far better.
Elon Musk took to Twitter last night to announce the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) will henceforth have the considerably more ambitious moniker Starship. We at The Register can only hope this is in reference to the '80s band, famed for such classics as "We Built This City" and 1987's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now". Mainly because the …
"Given that the first flight of any new rocket tends to end in RUD, maybe the first one should be called "Big Bada Boom"."
I like the joke, but... The Sputnik rocket didn't. Nor did the Saturn V, or the Saturn I. Or Black Knight. Or SpaceX's Falcon 9. Ariane 1 worked the first time (if not the second). Oh yes, an awful lot of first flights of a new rocket blew up, but a remarkable number didn't. Robert Goddard's first liquid fuelled rocket might not have flown high or fast, but even that one didn't explode.
Here's another that didn't:
"I like the joke, but... The Sputnik rocket didn't. Nor did the Saturn V, or the Saturn I. Or Black Knight. Or SpaceX's Falcon 9"
The "Sputnik rocket", AKA the R7 Semyorka exploded on it's first two flights, and while Black Knight was successful, Black Arrow, which was actually orbit capable, also failed on it's first flight. And lets not forget the less than perfect record of the Falcon 1...
"The drone-barge ships are engineer-y things not linked to customers' billion-dollar satellites or squishy organs."
Exactly! Anything that is going to be directly in the public eye gets named by the marketers after many
boozy lunches focus group meetings. And they always want a name that makes the product sound better than the rest, so superlatives get used and overused. Soap powder is probably the best example, ultra, best ever, new and improved...until the next ultra, best ever, new and improved version comes along.
Ah, superlatives in marketing... I saw a packet of dishwasher tablets recently. Finish Quantum Platinum Ultimate. And there was a yellow sign on the box saying new improved! How exactly does one improve on ultimate? Fuck knows what quantum has to do with anything - unless there's a cat trapped in the dishwasher...
My brain cued up the tune as soon as I saw "Starship" and hit play two words into the subhead.
My suggestion: If he wanted that word he could have made it "Starship Falcon". Less pop-rock and more gritty-sci-fi. It's in good company with the Romulans (Warbird) and Klingons (Bird-of-Prey); both monikers would fit a real Terran falcon well.
SpaceX - We will build reusable rockets, land them on a barge and re-launch them all for a price that we show publicly on our website.
Nasa - we will build a reusable shuttle that will be a pickup truck to space and launch every week more cheaply and safer than a rocket. We will replace this with our own massive launch vehicle that will be ready in 2015/25/35/just after the date in startrek
NASA - we built a Lunar module in 1960s and landed it on an effin Moon using computer less powerful than pocket calculator of early 2000s and almost zero electronics.
SpaceX - we took nine exactly same rocket booster NASA designed in 1960 for Lunar module, strapped them together, landed whole lot to a barge as a publicity stunt in 2017 and claimed we were the very first who managed successfully land a rocket.
P.S. The fact that supposedly private enterprise SpaceX allowed access to Vandenberg Air Force Base should be enough to start questioning what is really going on there.
The Apollo programme consumed up to 5% of the USA's GDP.
SpaceX didn't claim that they were first to land a rocket after delivering a payload to orbit - they demonstrated it. Blue Origin's effort that was successfully landed had a velocity an order of magnitude lower than that required to reach orbit - it touched the top of the atmosphere and came back down again.
DC-X was demonstrating vertical rocket landing in 1980s so there's nothing particularly special about it, except the fact that it reduces payload and still need be completely disassembled and rebuilt after landing. I'll leave it to you to figure out whether it's easier to build reliable engine from scratch or from used and usually badly damaged parts.
You're pretty sadly behind on what SpaceX is achieving with its booster reuse. The boosters aren't coming back badly damaged (barring crashes) -- they're coming back clean enough that the old design would be accumulating on the shelf if there weren't mission where throwing away the booster makes sense.
DC-X was demonstrating vertical rocket landing in 1980s
The DC-X first flew, for 59 seconds, on 18 August 1993.
and still need be completely disassembled and rebuilt after landing.
The DC-X, Falcon 9, and New Shepherd all reuse(d) engines without significant rebuilds between flights.
"The DC-X, Falcon 9, and New Shepherd all reuse(d) engines without significant rebuilds between flights."
Have they stopped finding chunks of the turbopump impellers missing on the F9? SpaceX has some dirty little secrets that they work very hard to suppress.
Blue Origin's effort that was successfully landed had a velocity an order of magnitude lower than that required to reach orbit - it touched the top of the atmosphere and came back down again.
And not even that! Its lateral velocity was pretty close to zero. "All" it needed was a thrust:weight greater than 1 and enough fuel to get up and back.
Vandenberg allows polar orbit launches, which makes it doubly useful.
And provides some unforgettable light shows for those of us in SoCal.
SpaceX - we took nine exactly same rocket booster NASA designed in 1960 for Lunar module
Saying the Merlin is exactly identical to a LEM engine is like confusing the 5.2 L Aston Martin AE31 twin-turbocharged V12 for a VW Bug's 1100cc H4 because they both use pistons. Yes, it's true, they're both piston engines. They're not exactly the same, not even the piston design.
Specific to the rockets, a few points:
1) The Apollo LEM's descent propulsion system was developed by the private company Space Technologies Laboratories (TRW), not NASA.
2) The SpaceX Merlin engines shared the same style of propellant injector, a pintle injector, as the LEM's descent propulsion system, but SpaceX's injectors differ in alloy, size, shape, and design.
3) Merlin engines use different propellants than the LEM's descent propulsion system
4) Merlin engines have vastly more thrust than the LEM's descent propulsion system
5) Merlin engines use turbopumps to deliver propellants, which differs from the pressure-fed LEM descent propulsion system
6) Merlin 1C and later engines are regenerative cooling, which differs from the ablatively-cooled LEM descent propulsion system
7) Merlin engines use a different combustion chamber design than the LEM's descent propulsion system
8) Merlin engines use a different nozzle design than the LEM's descent propulsion system
9) Merlin engines use different alloys than the LEM's descent propulsion system
The Merlin engine shares a single general detail with the LEM's engine, which is a pintle-type injector. It differs in all other major aspects of rocket engine construction: thrust, propellants, pumping method, cool design, and construction techniques.
@Yet Another Anonymous Coward.
Dude, seriously? 'Dummy' was a reference to the film 'Mannequin':
Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
Performed by Jefferson Starship (as Starship)
Because, you know, a 'Mannequin' is a 'dummy'.
So step away from the fanboi trigger, and recognise a little bit of leg pulling. Don't pull too hard, it'll probably come loose.
Heart of Gold is actually called "Starship The Heart of Gold", like Starship Bistromath and Starship Titanic. You may well find, that because he's not naming the ship, but rather the vehicle (I.e. not the individual but the group name), that it may actually still occur.
There is a commentard out there that gives every post a downvote. Keeps all our feet on the ground and stops us getting big headed.
It's his/her task, duty, mission from God.
Thou shalt not have 0 downvotes! For that way lies hubris, vanity and a directorship in Capita.
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Like other commentards keep the name BFR, just like the BFG everyone knew actually what the "F" meant.
Considering we're in the lead up to christmas. "I'm not fat i'm just festively plump!"
Oh screw you guys and all your down votes.... I'm going home!
let the first captain of the first manned Starship mission be a "Major Tom", a SpaceX "Starman" rather than a NASA "Astronaut", who communicates with "Ground Control" and transmits video on "channel two" ... If it went well the publicity would be fabulous, wrong and it would be messy but Elon's never one from shying away ...
Just how far have these brave spacey nautical fellows ventured from the Earth's atmosphere?
Any American been to the ASTEROID belt yet? And how far into the "cosmos" have those Russkies travelled ?
OK- A dozen+ Americans have been as far as the Moon. Sorry guys- you're still under control of Earth's gravity.
But is this really waaaaay out there?
Model S, 3, X and maybe someday, Y. Pickup, Roadster, Semi, etc Not even IKEA is so bland. The interesting thing is that they can only trademark "Tesla Pickup" in the same way that Microsoft only has a trademark on "Microsoft Windows" as their application for "Windows" was denied. You can't trademark a commonly used word. Falcon? Okay, but too many rockets have been named after birds.
I lifted the name for my rocket that I built for my Level One certification from Niven, "Hot Needle of Inquiry" and gave it a flame paint job. My Level Two rocket was "Lying Bastard". Haven't done my Level Three, but maybe I'll call it "Long Shot".
There has to be somebody at the SpaceX plant that could suggest a much better name. Whether it will ever fly or not..............
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