SpaceX just landed its first stage at Landing Pad 1!
They made history tonight. Congratulations to all at SpaceX!
Gives one goosebumps. Great job, Mr.Musk and all at SpaceX. Just fantastic!
Git 'er done.
Congratulations to the entire Space X team.
@David - Here you go...
The enthusiasm and reaction to the landing is beyond words.
History in the making!
See also the other thread on SpaceX launch.
Going to watch the 45 minute video at Xmas.
So happy for them all.
Coming from someone who works for their competition, this is a real game changer. The take away here is now everyone will have to play catch up and design their own stage one return/reuse cores, otherwise Space X will be able to undercut everyone else on price alone to win the contracts.
This is going to make access to space at least 1/3 cheaper than it is now.
Hopefully this will allow other Senators to go against Shelby and Durbin . As many know these 2 Senators are for using Russian rockets to launch military sat. Go Space. X
Congratulations to the Space X team, very impressive achievement.
It was thrilling to watch ! Jules Verne could not have done it better :).....quite an achievement and milestone for space adventure.
It does concern me a bit though that Jeff Bezos may try to duplicate by building larger rockets and then trying to prove that he can quickly "home deliver" larger packages to your driveway :) !
1/3 cheaper? More like 3X - 30X cheaper. Depending on re-usability of the booster?
... of the booster.
I haven't heard anything on the news about this, as if it never happened.
BBC World News
Dutch National TV
Belgian National TV
I guess that it should already have been reported by all National TV channels. It's a big historical achievement.
@ Brian H,
Having worked in the rocket industry for 33 years I made the claim of 1/3 cheaper for a couple of reasons.
1) The stage one core, while being the largest portion of the rocket, it is just one of the main parts. The others' being the stage two core and the payload apparatus.
2) Even though it can now be re-used, it will have to be refurbished prior to use. It will have to be cleaned and tested to be re-certified as well as cabling and secondary structures that will need replacing because of heat damage.
If they can only get one more flight from the stage one core, the added bonus will only reduce the hardware cost by 1/3, at most. The rest of the costs would recur anyway as the man hours still have to be spent on the re-certification as if the stage were brand new.
Nothing will make the flight to space 3X to 30X cheaper unless everything on the rocket can be re-used, or another way to launch items into space is found, and since we know that the stage two core and payload structures burn up on re-entry, that will never happen. The payloads obviously aren't re-usable but their cost isn't usually calculated in the base rocket costs. However, each new payload requires new engineering, that must go into the overall design costs of the rocket, to determine the overall flight simulations prior to launch. This is to proof-out that the rocket will achieve orbit and payload insertion into the proper window per contract. There is a lot of recurring engineering that has to go into every flight that is unavoidable.
But having said this, Elon's team has made a remarkable achievement that others have said couldn't be done and will leave the rest of us playing catch-up. Just like Tesla is leaving the rest of the automotive industry do with their BEV's.
@Go_Peddle_4_me and BrianH,
Interesting discussions about whether reusable is cheaper:
I guess the question is whether the extra first stage fuel required for a soft return landing plus the extra durability that must be built into the first stage plus the cost of refurbishment exceed the cost of building a new single-use first stage.
Like Tesla's battery swap station, the good thing is that Musk has the guts to try new things to find out the actual answer, unlike so many in most industries today. Most just try to mask their fear of the unknown by trying to pretend they know that new things won't work using some sort of weak analysis that provides the safe answer they're looking for.
@Earl and Nagin
My points exactly. While it may be cheaper to reuse the stage one core, what if the tanks can't handle the pressurization the next flight? What if they discover stress cracks in the tanks from the first flight?
They'll have to redesign the core again to handle the additional stresses from flight to flight, and re-engineering is never cheap, but we'll see how things shake out for Space X. I actually wish them the best and all, because I think it will help the space faring countries/organizations out in the long run.
The main savings from the first stage are the merlin engines which have ~ 3 minutes of firing time. Even if the tanks are disposed of, the Merlin engines are good as new.
Not trying to argue semantics here, but even the engines will need to be refurbished and tested again. The stage one cores are not cheap to build either, so if they can be reused, they will save a lot of $$'s.
Me neither, but you are talking about the difference in cost between a tune-up and a new engine. 3 minutes of use may require NEITHER.
Unless you can cite to a source showing differently . . .
But since nobody has ever landed a rocket (Jeff Bozo excepted - lulz) we don't know.
They are going to land stage 2 in the future too. Its going to make the launches cheaper too. Isn't it?
Oops. Got confused by recalling Falcon heavy animation video. It was not stage 2 but multiple stage 1 landings. I was wrong. https://youtu.be/4Ca6x4QbpoM
By working for Space X's competition, I can only go by our company cost, schedules, testing data, but prior to any launch, each engine goes through a hot-fire test on a separate test stand, prior to integration with the stage 1 core. Not exactly sure what Space X does, but since they are launching for NASA/Military I would think that hot-fire tests are required by contract for certification.
Although we've never re-used an engine before, I am sure that the engines must be inspected and cleaned, which means tearing the engine down some to see the internal chambers to ensure there is no cracking or breaking of welds and such.
The biggest cost in the non-recurring engineering involved.
To you and yours, have a great holiday!
I look at it as the difference between building a motor for a top fuel dragster, and building a motor for a Chevrolet Corvette. A lot of the same principles are involved. Large cylinders. Pushrods. Cam location. General familiarity.
But the guys who design them for hotrods know full well they will break down the entire engine after every single run. They know they will remove, replace, inspect, reassemble, balance, blueprint, and certify every single thing in the engine every time it is run. It is a highly tuned machine, with precision expectations, but a very, very short half life. It is designed from the outside, to come and go... Or rather, run and blow.
When you build a Corvette engine, you absolutely do not want it to have to be broken down every quarter of a mile. Unless you decide to adapt/modify it as a track racer, you probably don't even want to do so every 500 miles. Truly, it would seem to be overkill to be forced into a thorough, microscopic inspection at even the 50,000 mile mark. And these days, with regular maintenance schedules, superior spark plugs, and a lot of competition on the quality and reliability front, it is a good idea for the car to last 100,000 miles with the Owner never cracking the hood at all.
Well, airline operations are somewhere between the two extremes. While aerospace operations are even more critical than the top fuel drag racers. I believe that SpaceX wants to make launches at least as commonplace as regular air travel. So that the level of inspections that are required for GE or Rolls-Royce engines that are in service for airliners is sufficient to maintain superb operation and a solid reliability rate with rockets. This has not been attempted in any manner beyond the erstwhile Space Shuttles, which were renamed as 'Orbiters' for some reason.
Red sage. According to spacex website they were planning to land stage 2 eventually as well by having heat shield on forward end for Mach 25 reentry. Supposedly dragone ad well.
I dont know if still the plan to land stage 2 but why not?
here is the original concept video for landing both stages.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWFFiubtC3c
SpaceX made History by landing its Rocket on a Floating Drone Ship for the First Time. This is the second time SpaceX has successfully landed one of its rockets post-launch;
Pretty amazing accomplishment.....though I notice they were a bit off-center :).......the seas looked pretty heavy and the deck appeared to be pitching quite alot. How that rocket managed to stay upright is interesting.
To see this happen in real time brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations to all of the SpaceX crew !!
Stayed upright like a Segway.
The fossil fuel industry is attempting to disparage Elon Musk because he threatens their business. The success of SpaceX makes it harder for them to succeed. I love when the right side wins. :)
That was an awesome launch and landing! I like the coverage at The Verge:
youtube -- lEr9cPpuAx8
Space X landed successfully on the drone barge for the second time last night! This time coming in a lot hotter and faster!
Fantastic, congratulations SpaceX, Elon Musk and team! Very impressive.
And he needs more room to store them.
Turn them around, EM, and fire them up.
No storage required
Landed dead center, this time.
Just missed his sleeping bag at the end of the line
looks like another on is on the 'Of Course I Still Love You' and the Sat is in geyosynchronous orbitt.
Really? Why arent these historic things in the news?
Ross: 4th time = routine and routine ain't news.
How many more launches and landings in 2016?
Benz: 12 more scheduled (Cape Canaveral&Vandenberg) including the Heavy test. Also they will probably throw in another 'test' launch of a reused booster.
Remember Ralph Williams? (Car dealer in Los Angeles)
"Hey friends. We have a sweet deal on a used rocket here."
Actually SES has been rather enthusiastic about buying a used rocket, and wants to be first.
I want to go down to Vandenberg for the first launch of the heavy. Can only hope for no delays...
BTW, does anyone know what the best accessible viewing spot would be for this?
carlgo2: The Heavy test is at Cape Canaveral. Also not positive but I don't think Vandenberg has the facilities to assemble and support the Heavy anyway.
I typed a response to @rlwrw, but it was caught by Mollom.
It merely said: "Running on snake oil"
What is it with this software? Was it cheap or something?