We drove up to Lompoc yesterday to watch not just the launch, but the landing. We had clear skies for both events. When I saw the boosters land from the Falcon Heavy flight in Florida, I didn’t see them until they were almost down, but yesterday, we could see the deorbit burn, and then follow it all the way down to the pad. After entry, it dropped like a rock until it arrived near the pad, then rapidly decelerated and set down. We weren’t as close as we wanted to be, but it was on a hill by Vandenberg Village that gave us an unobstructed view. Despite the distance, the sonic boom of the booster coming in was impressive but, unlike the ones in Florida, where I was much closer and heard a pair of triple booms, I only heard a single one. I suspect the other two were too weak to carry as far.
[Update a while later]
Interestingly, this story doesn’t even mention the landing, even though it was historic. I think it was the first time they’ve landed there in the day time.
Here’s video of the landing.
Will regulators slow progress of Starship/Superheavy?
…broke several records yesterday, including some of its own. It’s worth noting that the Falcon 9 now has demonstrated reliability of 99%.
I linked to this essay when it was first published early this year, but it’s worth revisiting it in light of the Thanksgiving holiday.
[Update a while later]
Private property’s harvest.
…from Lori Garver (for whom it is first hand) and Michael Sheetz. Here‘s a sample chapter.
It’s about to happen for SN-8.
[Update a few minutes later]
…has passed Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest person.
That’s good, because I think that Elon is doing much more good with his money than Gates is. And it’s kind of amazing that the two richest men in the world are both intelligently investing in space technology.
A call to action. General Kwast and Dr. Sercer were my co-panelists in Omaha last month.
I’m concerned about using the Law of the Sea Treaty as a precedent, given that the Moon Agreement was modeled on it.
…we hardly knew ye.
We went up to see it when Patricia was working in San Juan. It was quite impressive, but I wonder if there were maintenance issues? Perhaps they should have replaced the cables before they started to weaken?
It’s already a game changer for rural residents.