Originally posted by twhiteheadeven I am surprised by this! To be honest, for a moment there, I thought I was looking at a hoax for, in the video, it appears to me to land so fast with such velocity that it just looks physically unreal to me, just like in one of those stupid unrealistic scenes in one of those really stupid typical third-rate science fiction films which are not worth watching unless you want a good laugh of ridicule. I would have thought it should have crushed and blow up on landing. I think they were wise to make this an unmanned rocket and unmanned missions are the way to go for future space missions.
SpaceX has successfully re-landed a Falcon 9 First Stage rocket booster potentially cutting millions off the cost of rocket launches.
Originally posted by humyYou may have misunderstood what is going on here. What landed is the main booster stage of the rocket. Even in manned missions, the booster stage would not be manned on return. Even if the landing failed it does not impact the overall mission as the part of the rocket going to space has already detached by that time. They did not choose to make this an unmanned mission. They were launching communications satellites on contract. They plan to attempt the same thing for all missions whatever the payload although I believe it may not be possible for very high altitude (geostationary orbit or beyond) missions.
I think they were wise to make this an unmanned rocket and unmanned missions are the way to go for future space missions.
Originally posted by sonhouseWhy? My understanding is that the only limit is what orbit you are going to not what your payload capacity is. Certainly for many of the missions SpaceX has been running they didn't have to reduce the payload capacity to include this feature.
One thing you give up for this technology to work: Payload capacity.
Originally posted by twhiteheadHere is one real possibility for propulsion: Microwave from ground level to provide power for launch:
Sources vary regarding reduced payload:
Wikipedia says around a 30 percent reduction of the maximum payload
says 40 percent reduction. ...[text shortened]... avings it is worth it.
The sources also say that recovering the second stage is also planned.
Originally posted by sonhouseNice idea although I foresee the military stealing it for taking out satellites.
Here is one real possibility for propulsion: Microwave from ground level to provide power for launch:
Don't know if you can get a beam to be concentrated to the size of a spacecraft but if they can, and get microwaves powerful enough it is usable.
Originally posted by twhiteheadTechnology is ALWAYS a two edged sword. You could also use those megawatts of energy to crash fighter jets in combat too. But I wonder if enough power can be concentrated on a craft to actually lift it off the ground. My guess is the first generation would be a hybrid, smaller rocket than usual adding some lift but not enough to get off the ground augmented by megawatts of RF and between the two, the craft launches.
Nice idea although I foresee the military stealing it for taking out satellites.
Originally posted by twhiteheadas I understand it, it fell over only because one of its legs broke on landing.
I got the timing wrong. It took place yesterday. The first stage did land on the ship but fell over and exploded.
The actual launch was successful ie the satellite is in orbit.
Originally posted by humyYeah and its not the first failed landing either and they do learn as they go along. I certainly expect we will see a first stage successfully landed and re-used in the next couple of years saving 30 million dollars or so.
-although I guess they must have already thought of doing all that next else they wouldn't be too smart!