SpaceX Did It!

 

It’s leaning a bit, but SN10 landed intact.

A few minutes later:

Published in Science & Technology
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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Good job, got futher this time

    • #1
  2. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    So, how come the thing HAS to land vertically?  I’m no Science Guy, but it doesn’t look like it would take all that much to change the shape of the thing so it could land like a glider. 

    • #2
  3. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    So, how come the thing HAS to land vertically? I’m no Science Guy, but it doesn’t look like it would take all that much to change the shape of the thing so it could land like a glider.

    SpaceX plans to use it to land on the Moon/Mars etc so they won’t use it as a glider.

    • #3
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    If they can’t land it on a dime, perhaps they can land it on the Mars Rover and tell NASA it was an accident.

    • #4
  5. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    So, how come the thing HAS to land vertically? I’m no Science Guy, but it doesn’t look like it would take all that much to change the shape of the thing so it could land like a glider.

    SpaceX plans to use it to land on the Moon/Mars etc so they won’t use it as a glider.

    Yabbut, they also claim they want to use it for suborbital commercial passenger travel.  

    • #5
  6. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    I thought We were suppose to be less white.

    • #6
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):
    So, how come the thing HAS to land vertically?

    Cool points.

    • #7
  8. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    So, how come the thing HAS to land vertically? I’m no Science Guy, but it doesn’t look like it would take all that much to change the shape of the thing so it could land like a glider.

    SpaceX plans to use it to land on the Moon/Mars etc so they won’t use it as a glider.

    Yabbut, they also claim they want to use it for suborbital commercial passenger travel.

    The goal is to takeoff and land in the same place (such as a sea base in a harbor).

    • #8
  9. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    So, how come the thing HAS to land vertically? I’m no Science Guy, but it doesn’t look like it would take all that much to change the shape of the thing so it could land like a glider.

    SpaceX plans to use it to land on the Moon/Mars etc so they won’t use it as a glider.

    I wonder what part of Mars is level enough for that to land on? It looks tall enough that even a slight tilt could tip it over.

    • #9
  10. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    That’s what I call a rapid turn around.  Two blast offs in less than 10 min.!

    • #10
  11. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    So, how come the thing HAS to land vertically? I’m no Science Guy, but it doesn’t look like it would take all that much to change the shape of the thing so it could land like a glider.

    SpaceX plans to use it to land on the Moon/Mars etc so they won’t use it as a glider.

    I wonder what part of Mars is level enough for that to land on? It looks tall enough that even a slight tilt could tip it over.

    My guess is that they’ll send an advance party to create a level landing surface.

    • #11
  12. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    How I love this. The Shuttle changed our view of how spacecraft reenter and land, and it was cool: a big brick that acted like a plane. But in the back of the boomer’s minds is that classic 50s rocket ship that lands like SpaceX. Landing gear deployed! Retrorockets, Fire! If they’d paint this thing like Dr. Calculus’ moon rocket, it would be perfect. 

    • #12
  13. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    what is very remarkable about this launch is they had an abort after the engines fired. Then they fired again for the launch. Once fired, the Shuttle’s engines needed a month of work

    • #13
  14. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Here’s another view of the (first) landing. 
    https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1367902241768812546?s=21

    • #14
  15. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    So, how come the thing HAS to land vertically? I’m no Science Guy, but it doesn’t look like it would take all that much to change the shape of the thing so it could land like a glider.

    It lands on its tail as God and Heinlein intended.

    • #15
  16. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    How I love this. The Shuttle changed our view of how spacecraft reenter and land, and it was cool: a big brick that acted like a plane. But in the back of the boomer’s minds is that classic 50s rocket ship that lands like SpaceX. Landing gear deployed! Retrorockets, Fire! If they’d paint this thing like Dr. Calculus’ moon rocket, it would be perfect.

    I loved the Shuttle, in spite of the fact that it should never have been sold as a space truck. It was an X-plane. We learned so much from it that things like Starship are now possible.

    I was at a press conference with one of the astronauts who piloted the Enterprise shuttle during the tests where they popped it off the carrier plane and practiced landings. He was asked what he thought of how the Orbiter flew. His answer: “Picture a toolbox dropped from 20,000 feet.”

    • #16
  17. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    How I love this. The Shuttle changed our view of how spacecraft reenter and land, and it was cool: a big brick that acted like a plane. But in the back of the boomer’s minds is that classic 50s rocket ship that lands like SpaceX. Landing gear deployed! Retrorockets, Fire! If they’d paint this thing like Dr. Calculus’ moon rocket, it would be perfect.

    I loved the Shuttle, in spite of the fact that it should never have been sold as a space truck. It was an X-plane. We learned so much from it that things like Starship are now possible.

    I was at a press conference with one of the astronauts who piloted the Enterprise shuttle during the tests where they popped it off the carrier plane and practiced landings. He was asked what he thought of how the Orbiter flew. His answer: “Picture a toolbox dropped from 20,000 feet.”

    The Shuttle (as flown) was a very flawed experimental vehicle. It was designed and redesigned by congress several times over. Originally the Shuttle was supposed to fly on a modified Saturn V first stage. Each redesign made the shuttle less capable, more dangerous and more expensive.

    The original concept was that the vehicle would ride a Saturn V first stage into orbit – much like the Russian Buran did with Energia. I think, that if the Russian program had gotten the opportunity to fly more, it would have proven to be a better, cheaper operational model than what congress saddled NASA with.

    ((In light of more recent events with this post tittle be changed to “SpaceX Undid it!“?))

    • #17
  18. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    How I love this. The Shuttle changed our view of how spacecraft reenter and land, and it was cool: a big brick that acted like a plane. But in the back of the boomer’s minds is that classic 50s rocket ship that lands like SpaceX. Landing gear deployed! Retrorockets, Fire! If they’d paint this thing like Dr. Calculus’ moon rocket, it would be perfect.

    I loved the Shuttle, in spite of the fact that it should never have been sold as a space truck. It was an X-plane. We learned so much from it that things like Starship are now possible.

    I was at a press conference with one of the astronauts who piloted the Enterprise shuttle during the tests where they popped it off the carrier plane and practiced landings. He was asked what he thought of how the Orbiter flew. His answer: “Picture a toolbox dropped from 20,000 feet.”

    The Shuttle (as flown) was a very flawed experimental vehicle. It was designed and redesigned by congress several times over. Originally the Shuttle was supposed to fly on a modified Saturn V first stage. Each redesign made the shuttle less capable, more dangerous and more expensive.

    The original concept was that the vehicle would ride a Saturn V first stage into orbit – much like the Russian Buran did with Energia. I think, that if the Russian program had gotten the opportunity to fly more, it would have proven to be a better, cheaper operational model than what congress saddled NASA with.

    ((In light of more recent events with this post tittle be changed to “SpaceX Undid it!“?))

    We should have had a full-flyback Shuttle with both the boost stage and orbiter manned. Congress wouldn’t pay for the R&D. The modified Saturn boosting a pure glider orbiter was one of many proposals to try to meet Congressional requirements. While the process was entirely wrong, we flew what we got and did a darn good job of it. Human failings led to Challenger and Columbia’s loss.

    The biggest factor IMHO is that NASA isn’t allowed to fail; when it does there are politicians delighted with an excuse to cut programs and funding. Elon Musk can fail. Engineering is a process of making the right failures at the right times. Elon will achieve his ultimate goal. NASA won’t. Fortunately, thanks to Eisenhower, nothing NASA does is classified so Elon and others can learn from it.

    • #18
  19. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    We should have had a full-flyback Shuttle with both the boost stage and orbiter manned. Congress wouldn’t pay for the R&D. The modified Saturn boosting a pure glider orbiter was one of many proposals to try to meet Congressional requirements. While the process was entirely wrong, we flew what we got and did a darn good job of it. Human failings led to Challenger and Columbia’s loss.

    The biggest factor IMHO is that NASA isn’t allowed to fail; when it does there are politicians delighted with an excuse to cut programs and funding. Elon Musk can fail. Engineering is a process of making the right failures at the right times. Elon will achieve his ultimate goal. NASA won’t. Fortunately, thanks to Eisenhower, nothing NASA does is classified so Elon and others can learn from it.

    The fly back booster need not be manned – the L 1011 (which first flew in 1970) was able to land entirely controlled by computer.

    The Saturn V booster could have been reshaped to become a lifting body glider after it completed its boost. I imagined that it would have done a skip-reentry and land in Australia (instead of the external tank crashing into the Indian Ocean)

    I have to disagree, the shuttle was a technical failure. It never met any goal that was promised in the sale’s pitch. Its also the deadliest spacecraft yet designed.

    • #19
  20. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    What could have been,,, What if SLS was a Saturn V derived launcher instead of Shuttle derived?

    Could an F1 Engine be built today… Yes but we wouldn’t be rebuilding an engine designed in 1959. Instead we would modernize the assembly and manufacturing… Computer controls, 3d printed components etc, we would end up with an engine much simpler, much lighter and cheaper…

    • #20
  21. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    • #21