30 thoughts on “A New SpaceX Milestone”

  1. I read they caught one fairing half and fished the other one out of the water. Still, SpaceX has been able to reuse fairing halves that have been in the water. Today’s launch reportedly used at least one previously flown fairing half.

    1. It’s ok. Most things people enjoy are found boring by others. Just look at how many people watch football, so boring.

      Despite how many many many find this topic boring, quite a few of us understand the importance and find that aspect exciting.

      1. Yes. In space, boring is good. In fact, I believe boring space travel is the end goal. Along with being profitable.

      2. Elon Musk has done boring, though – The Boring Company. They do a lot of boring. And flamethrowers. 🙂

        Seriously though, they are making something many thought impossible (economic reuse) look routine. Flight 6 for this booster is one heck of a milestone.

        1. Elon Musk is playing the long game. He wants to go to Mars. To do that, he needs a big rocket (SpaceX). To develop that, he needs a major source of revenue (Starlink). To get around on Mars, he’s going to need electric powered vehicles (Tesla), with the electricity most likely from solar panels with battery storage (SolarCity). To survive in the relatively high radiation environment, going underground is a good idea (Boring Company). I don’t know what the flame thrower is for except perhaps just for fun, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he envisioned a use for it on Mars as well.

    2. When I was a teen, there was a parking lot off the end of one of the runways at National where I and my friends would lay on the roofs of our cars watching the planes roar overhead. Not that many years later, my son and I sat on a hillside across the road from RDU watching the airliners come and go. Now I’m an old man living in the sticks, and its amazing how low the F-18s fly.

      1. Anchorage was the place to sit and watch planes 20 years ago. There’s a narrow gap where the road goes by the north end of the runway on top of a 150 foot cliffside (it’s more a really steep hill after the 1964 quake shook piles of dirt down) above the ocean. You are very close to the action. Planes landing glide by with wingtip vortices ripping the air behind them, and the big 747 freighters going to Korea thunder close overhead on takeoff. It’s a visceral experience, and sometimes you’ll see moose or bear.

        1. I don’t think it can. The flame trench orientation runs the wrong way (it used to handle Titan IV). I think Starship will be flying before LC-40 could be modified for Titan Heavy or for them to erect a crew service tower.

          1. A complete rebuild of LC-40 would be necessary, I think, to handle Falcon Heavy launches.

            Given the low cadence of FH launches – and its limited role in SpaceX’s medium and long-term – I can understand why they’d think that’s not worth the money.

            I *am* wondering if the Air Force will require a Faclon heavy capability out at Vandenburg, though (and how much they’ll subsidize the launch pad work, if so).

          2. SLC-4E is mostly able to handle Heavies already, as its TEL is configured for it, and the Tiatn IV flame trench is correct. On the other hand, there’s no MST, which would cost a lot to add (in the low hundreds of millions). It might be cheaper to hand over SLC-6 (which has a HIF, MST, and STS flame trench) but that’s not going to happen so long as Delta IV Heavy is flying.

      1. “Handling” the crew capsule at LC 40 is a matter of renting a construction crane. A standard free-standing crane is 265 feet high. Falcon 9’s maximum height is 230 feet. A standard crane can lift about 20 tons, certainly enough to haul up a prep room with astronauts and capsule closeout crew.

        Why do you people make this stuff so hard?

        1. Which “you people” are you talking about here? The requirements are laid down by NASA and USAF, not random “you people” out on the InderDweebz. although I imagine an aerospace supergenius must take considerable satisfaction in posting statements like that. Or perhaps the supergenius thinks he’s the first and only supergenius who knows about things like construction cranes? Maybe he can convice NASA to dangle astronauts from a crane bucket, or persuade the Air Force, it just needs to do a free lift of its multi-billion dollar satelites to the top of the rocket? Why, I bet the Generals and bureaucrats never thought of that, and will give the supergenious a medal…!


  2. I can’t even say its boring. Whenever I see a video post on YouTube, I watch it. And if Falcon may be getting repetitious, you have the Starship tests in Boca Chica.

    I can believe NASA could be more exciting if they showed some of this stuff, but PAO packages things as if only little kids are watching and the patronizing is boring. Plus, they are loath to show failure of any sort. The drama is the chance of failure, and the elation is from taking that chance and surpassing it.

    1. Am I the only one who finds the construction footage from Boca Chica nearly as riveting as the cold vapor and fire of the test hops? I’ve been watching this stuff since LabPadre and SPadre set up 24/7 webcams and Boca Chica Gal Mary launched a post-retirement career as a one-woman video production crew. It’s been like what watching the Giza Plateau must have been like during the days of Old Kingdom Egypt – starting from nothing, the mightiest works of a great empire arise.

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