31 thoughts on “SN15”

    1. So we have two things to celebrate today; Starship SN15 not blowing up, and George not blowing up!

      This is a good day. 🙂

  1. Landed vertically on a pillar of flames, like God and Heinlein intended.

    … now don’t blow up. Stay. Staaayy. Good Starship.

  2. Nice. Okay put the cigars away… Now on-to orbit…. So much left to do…

    To paraphrase one D. Vader:

    “Tear this ship apart and inspect everything! I want to make sure we find it adhered to the plans!”

    “As you wish, sir!”

  3. I forgot that today was the anniversary of Shepard’s flight, and I shouldn’t have. My second grade class and I (at the advanced age of 7 years) sat, on the floor, in front of a black and white TV one of the mothers had brought in, and watched Freedom 7 take off at 8:34 am Central DST. I remember the moment like it was this morning: it was the moment when I decided what I wanted to do with my life.

    1. Of course, early in March of this year, my wife and I received what was obviously a card from my sister. It was addressed to both of us, and we looked at each other in puzzlement. We speculated, as I started to open the envelope, that it might be a St. Patrick’s day card.

      It was a card commemorating Kat’s and my wedding anniversary.

      It would be funny (or funnier) if this was the first time… But it’s, I believe, the third time that we’ve done exactly the same thing.

      If my sister stops sending us cards, we’re screwed…

    2. I was very, very young when Shepard flew (5 y/o). I *think* I watched it on a portable 19″ B&W set at our neighbor’s duplex. To be honest I cannot remember if it was Shepard or Grissom. It was a Mercury Redstone rocket.

      That’s an amazing co-incidence. Or maybe SpaceX thought it’d be cool to try it today. I dunno. Both are historic.

        1. Should I worry why you were wearing a pressure suit for bedtime? And did you also wear a crash helmet?

          — Oh, I hope not!

  4. My father was in the Marine helicopter crew that picked Shepard up. When I was going through his old military records after he died, I came across not only the orders for his detachment to support Project Mercury, but his copy of the crew flight time documentation, which also listed one “A.Shepard”.

    (He was also in the crew that picked up Grissom, but no similar card. In his opinion, Grissom “knew he screwed something up”).

    1. The late Deke Slayton addressed the “Grissom messed up” meme.

      The man who decided on the men to go to the Moon suggested that Gordon Cooper messed up big time by being a hot shot and landing his F106 on too short a runway at Huntsville.

      Grissom he describes as having an incredible work ethic and working hand-in-hand with the McDonnell engineers designing the Gemini. The suggestion was that were it not for the Apollo 1 disaster, Grissom would have been the first man on the Moon.

        1. Yes, I had that experience landing a Piper PA-28 Warrior on runway 9 at Madison, WI (MSN) .

    2. Liberty Bell 7 was eventually recovered from the sea floor, long after Grissom was dead. The switch controlling the explosive bolts on the hatch had clearly *not* been thrown. The hatch just blew.

  5. Cameras didn’t work too well but when the smoke cleared the craft was upright on the ground.

    There was a small fire at the base for many minutes – do not know what it was. It was put out after a while.

    Congratulations to Space X

  6. I was noticing that the “Engine Cam” shots did not show the (*messy*) fire and debris that earlier (failure) launches had. It looks that they may be getting things straight.

    1. Yep. SpaceX had said ever since they scrapped 12-14 that 15 was the first of a refined design, and they proved it in spectacular fashion yesterday.

    2. I noticed that as well. The fire in that volume isn’t surprising because that sort of exhaust flow occurs on other launch vehicles, but other launch vehicles don’t require that area to be reused at landing.

      Without data from SpaceX, I’d never know how detrimental those fires were to the early flights. As a person with empathy for future passengers, not seeing the fire and have a successful landing gives greater confidence that the failures of the past have been sorted. That may or may not be true, but appearances does help. I look forward to seeing repeat safe landings.

      1. There will be so many flights before there are passengers, especially ptp Earthly ones, that everyone but the paid shills will forget about the test failures.

  7. It looked to me like the transition from horizontal back to vertical for the landing happened much higher up than previous flights. I don’t know if that’s from the angle of the cameras or if it was a change in flight profile.

    It certainly appeared to be a much more controlled and longer hover down to the surface in a vertical orientation compared to previous flights, and possibly on two engines most of the time instead of down-selecting to just one.

    Anyone else notice anything similar?

    1. I suspect that was an artifact of having two good working engines that functioned properly to touchdown. In short, the others should have looked like that, but due to lack of thrust, they came down faster and hit too hard. It is like many other things, when done right, it looks smooth and easy.

    2. They relit all three, and when the computer was satisfied that two had started shut the third off. That was something new for this flight.

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