Launch News SpaceX Falcon 9 Return to Flight with 11 Orbcomm-2 satellites, December 21/22, 2015

Urwumpe

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Looking at that awesome picture of the "X in the sky", where you can see both the lift off and the landing trails, I was wondering how far apart are those 2 spots. It didn't went vertical, did it? They look quite close to each other.
About 9.1 km, if I measure correctly, from SLC-40 to SLC-13/Landing Area 1
 

STS

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In Spain, this is not on the public TV channel´s news (didn´t check the private channels), but the national Christmas lottery takes 70% of the news time (45 minutes). :facepalm:
 

Urwumpe

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In Spain, this is not on the public TV channel´s news (didn´t check the private channels), but the national Christmas lottery takes 70% of the news time (45 minutes). :facepalm:
El Gordo. One word (+article) says it all. :lol:
 

Andy44

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A day later and I'm still jazzed by this. Showed that helicopter angle video to people at work and they were suitably impressed. I feel good for all those SpaceX engineers who worked on this for so long, what a rush that must be.
 

dman

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Who would want to fly on a used rocket...??

You don't know where its been......
 

orbitingpluto

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Who would want to fly on a used rocket...??

You don't know where its been......
Who would want to fly a used airliner...??

You don't know what happened on that first flight....

Might as well buy a new one.....

:p
 

llarian

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That's the second most exciting launch I've seen, after SpaceX's first mission to the ISS. Coincidentally I've missed seeing both launches live. I can't wait until SpaceX starts launching astronauts.
Showing my age, but I can't agree with you. Number one was Apollo 11 (yes I'm old enough to have watched the liftoff and landing ... which I did). Number two was Columbia's first launch and flight. Number three was this one.
 

Dantassii

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When I finished my MS degree back in 1990 I tried to apply for a job at SpaceX. At that time however, all the engineering positions required a minimum of a Ph.D. At the time I jokingly heard that even the receptionist at the front door had a Ph.D. in something.

May have been an urban myth, but I never did get a job with them. :(

The goals of the Falcon 9/Dragon program are the reason I wanted to work for them.

This success shows what happens when a space program has a long term, forward looking mission statement, has relentless leadership, and has a stable, properly funded budget over a long period of time. The last time this happened was when NASA was charged with putting a man on the moon and safely returning him to earth by the end of the 1960's. Hasn't happened since.

Here's to many more successful firsts for a company that is doing space correctly.

Dantassii
BS, MS, partial completion of Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering
Why yes, I am a Rocket Scientist....
 

Urwumpe

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When I finished my MS degree back in 1990 I tried to apply for a job at SpaceX.
... in 1990? Elon Musk was still playing with Monopoly money at that time.

SpaceX was founded in 2002.
 

Dantassii

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... in 1990? Elon Musk was still playing with Monopoly money at that time.

SpaceX was founded in 2002.
Ok, well maybe I'm miss-remembering. Maybe it was Scaled Composites that I applied to for a job.

I've been writing logistics and human resources software for the last 18 years... remembering that far back is getting hard... :)

Dantassii
 

Urwumpe

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Ok, well maybe I'm miss-remembering. Maybe it was Scaled Composites that I applied to for a job.

I've been writing logistics and human resources software for the last 18 years... remembering that far back is getting hard... :)

Dantassii
I still remember what I did in late 1989 .... but don't ask me about 1990. :lol:
 

Artlav

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Interesting. I seem to remember things around 1990, then it gets fuzzy and clears in mid-200*as i went into university.
 

Urwumpe

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If you can remember the 1980's, you were not there.......
I thought that had been the 1970s. :lol:

For example, I remember Challenger.

And loosing my last baby tooth at the age of 10, playing football on my last day at elementary school, after looking in the wrong direction for a good header.

And I remember the Commodore C-16... Or how the power plant Wolfsburg-West was constructed. And that we still had a roundabout in front of the train station once.

And I also still remember the 1990s.... but things got way more fuzzy around there.
 

Unstung

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Who would want to fly on a used rocket...??

You don't know where its been......
I think engines are already used (tested) before a launch so they're not exactly pristine. The shuttle's engines were also, of course, reused. As far as manned spaceflight goes, I think only the lunar module's hypergolic ascent engine could not be tested before its critical moment due to corrosion.

How costly it is to refurbish a Falcon 9 may be a bigger issue.

Showing my age, but I can't agree with you. Number one was Apollo 11 (yes I'm old enough to have watched the liftoff and landing ... which I did). Number two was Columbia's first launch and flight. Number three was this one.
By the time I was old enough to remember shuttle launches, they were pretty mundane, so there haven't really been any extraordinary, new vehicles or missions to launch during my lifetime.
 

Thunder Chicken

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I think engines are already used (tested) before a launch so they're not exactly pristine.
The Merlin engines have been designed and tested for lifetime reusability, but the wrinkle is that they never have seen a test in the actual flight environment with high speed retropropulsion. This is 99% of the reason getting the stage back is such a big deal (outside of the sheer coolness factor); now they actually have performed that test and have the article back for detailed inspection.
 

Notebook

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Grew up during the Redstone-Atlas-Saturn era, watched it all on telly of course. The thing I remember about the first Shuttle launch was the roll soon after the launch. That and the sheer speed was a bit of a shock when you were used to symmetric designs.

N.
 

C3PO

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The thing I remember about the first Shuttle launch was the roll soon after the launch. That and the sheer speed was a bit of a shock when you were used to symmetric designs.
What stuck in my mind were the grainy TV images of the missing tiles on the OMS pod. We didn't get the quality photos until after the landing in those days.
 

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I'll be fair play and say they tried hard enough to enjoy their success. Agreed it wasn't trivial.

Now I still don't see it as a revolution in rocketry. Let's see if the maneuver can become something really reliable and guaranteed harmless for anything around the landing pad. Also it was done earlier this year on a smaller scale, so I see a lot of SpaceX-mania.

Then I'm not convinced there will be huge costs savings. It's a sacrifice of payload capacity, and there undoubtedly will be some work to make the thing fly (safely) again.

Ask me what was the space event of the year, and I'll tell you that New Horizons is light-years ahead. That and the fact that the manned Soyuz combo achieved another perfect year.

It won't be possible to say before several years if the concept is economically viable beyond the engineering feat. After all, if a space program had seriously wanted to do the same, I'm sure it might have been achieved before 1980 (they made a guidance computer that could land on the Moon despite a few bugs in '69 after all).

And there is a lot of time before you will see interplanetary-manned-VTOL-SSTO rockets like in Ray Bradbury's novels. Reading the articles of the incompetent local newspapers, it's like the thing is ready to carry people on Mars and return. Very very long way from there. :2cents:
 
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