The article states that the heat shield is ejected prior to engine burn. How does this stack up with resuability? It was my understanding that the heat shield was part of the capsule structure and was resueable?
13 publicly visible posts • joined 28 May 2013
Totally agree. The dv of the new shepard rocket upon separation was almost zero. This makes huge difference in terms of controlled decent, re-entry into the atmosphere and drift from the touch down target. I mean, how far were they from the launch pad when they began decent?
It's a good proof of concept but is so far from an orbital launch comparison it's like comparing golf buggies to the Model S.
I recall Musk stating that a fly back to the cape is very fuel heavy and the sea barge is the way to go for the foreseeable future unless the payload is very small. By the time of 1st stage separation they are over 220km downrange with ~4.5 mach worth of velocity. This would have to be eliminated, the stage turned around, fly back to the cape and have enough fuel to land. Very high fuel penalty even though its not a 1:1 ratio of payload to fuel on the first stage.
In the last year Mr. Musk has:
- Sent his in house designed space ship to the ISS, twice;
- Announced plans for a gigafactory for Li batteries;
- Completed a trans continent charging infrastructure for his electric cars (which isfree to use);
- Soft landed, for the first time a first stage rocket booster;
- Unveiled a reusable, crewed, powered landing space craft;
- Announced plans for the worlds largest solar panel factory.
So if he thinks they can land people on mars in 10-12 years it would be a fool who would bet against it.
12 Contenders - No, No only 11
I have it on very good authority (insider info) that the variations of twinnings "black" tea is really just marketing. Everyday, english breakfast etc are all the same, just in a different box.
I was tortured on whether to post this or not (probably the same level of mental angst Darwin suffered before his publication of that much disputed book about stuff) as it would have been a nice "control".
Unfortunately my smug-know-it-all alter ego got the better of me.