8 thoughts on “Another SpaceX Milestone”

  1. I don’t know if the bare top of the upper stage can survive the dynamic pressure or not, but I hope they have a whole lot of cameras everywhere. I can’t even guess what Elon might strap into the capsule for this test.

    On another note, the Navy filed a patent for a room-temperature superconductor. It’s just a layer of standard PZT (piezo) material commonly used since the 1950’s, deposited on an insulating rod, and then surrounded by a coil of wire to make it vibrate. They claim is that the result is superconductivity. Most of the folks here could’ve invented it.

    If that’s really all there is to it then it should dramatically shrink the size of the desk required for desktop fusion.

    1. Looking at his other Patent Application Publication US10144532B2, it looks like he has been working in EM Drive. I wonder if this was a serendipitous discovery falling out of that area of investigation.

      1. Maybe, but the idea that somebody was working on both an EM drive AND practical superconductivity (both holy grail-type stuff) makes it suddenly seem shady to me.

        Frankly I hope I’m wrong. A breakthrough in either would be a lovely development. 🙂

  2. I saw elsewhere where someone said that this was the first lunar lander launched from Florida since Apollo 17.

    1. I also saw a comment at Instapundit: “A privately-built rocket just launched a privately-built spacecraft to the Moon. This is the 21st Century I was promised.”

      Last I saw it had 26 upvotes, including mine.

  3. Why did Boeing choose to get in-flight LAS acceptance through non-live testing alternatives (modeling, etc.)?

    Well, they *are* very good at working through NASA processes. But firing off a Starliner on a brand new Atlas N22, even with the Centaur engines removed, would have cost them a heck of a lot more than it’s costing SpaceX to reuse a Falcon 9 first stage that’s already flown 3 times. SpaceX has already gotten plenty of value out of that rocket. SpaceX’s real costs here (aside from NASA requirements) amount to a) a dummy second stage, b) fuel expended, and c) launch staffing labor.

    Such is the advantage that reusability has conferred on SpaceX.

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