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Old 01-16-2015, 03:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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SpaceX video of the Falcon 9..."Close but no cigar.".

Elon Musk had a few media-filled weeks. He is building a prototype of his Hyperloop track system, donated 10 million dollars to prevent Artificial Intelligence from going evil, pushed for ride-sharing autonomous vehicles, delayed the production of the Model 3 for a couple more years and his SpaceX's attempt to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on an ocean landing platform was unsuccessful.

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Old 01-17-2015, 12:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This was landing a bullet on a postage stamp from from a mile away with the bullet guiding itself down from 2,000 ft using little wings and its own engine to stop itself. Looks all the world to me like the guidance system got itself out of a stable attitude trying to hit the platform, and then it did, hit the platform, then sort of blowed up, and the blowed up equal and opposite reaction was a hasty exit....stage left. Get it? Stage left.......bwah ha ha haha haaaaa. I kill me.
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I found out that the hydraulic fluid for the aerodynamic feather wing grid fin things near the top of the rocket booster lost hydraulic pressure in the final seconds before touchdown due to "Running out of hydraulic fluid". The engine thrust vectoring tried to compensate but it was too far out of the correct position to save.

What impresses me is how much speed it still had coming in, this thing is sliding into home plate essentially going from 60 to 0 in 2 seconds type of thing.




Good summary here at Bad Astronomy by Phil Plait

I like how Elon Musk called it a RUD...an acronym for Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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On Rocky Jones, Space Ranger they would hover over the pad for a few seconds and then gently touch down. SpaceX flys them right into/onto the ground.

The 8-lobed plume on ascent is a beautiful thing.

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