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paramat

SpaceX test huge reusable VTOL rocket booster

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There's no sense of scale but this booster is as high as a 10 storey building. It balances by using a closed-loop thrust vectoring system. SpaceX are working towards a simple reusable launch vehicle that could (unlike the complex and costly shuttle) reduce spaceflight costs by a huge amount ...



Elon Musk also recently outlined a realistic plan for the colonisation of Mars http://www.space.com...-elon-musk.html Edited by azrael

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Thanks for the update!

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325m test, looks like sci-fi especially on the way down.

Edited by paramat

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Big day!

Elon Musk on twitter:

"Rocket booster relit twice (supersonic retro & landing), but spun up due to aero torque, so fuel centrifuged & we flamed out"

"Between this flight & Grasshopper tests, I think we now have all the pieces of the puzzle to bring the rocket back home."

Elon is the most important person on this planet, and it looks like it will be private companies that colonise space and mine the solar system, where governments have of course failed to realise the importance. Just divert half of military costs, the tech is similar and the military industrial complex can become the space industrial complex and save humanity in the process.

Best video is not the official one, at the end this video shows puffs of thrusters that may be the prototype reusable 1st stage orientating for a controlled re-entry.

Skip to 1:13 for the close focus shot.

Edited by paramat

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Big day!

Elon Musk on twitter:

"Rocket booster relit twice (supersonic retro & landing), but spun up due to aero torque, so fuel centrifuged & we flamed out"

"Between this flight & Grasshopper tests, I think we now have all the pieces of the puzzle to bring the rocket back home."

Ah, so that was the problem. The news article I read was quite vague about what it was.

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At last here's rocket cam of the next generation Falcon 9 1st stage relighting at 64km / 4200mph, at 2:40 minutes in. A quick view before the exhaust fogs the camera. This new Falcon 9 has relightable engines (for testing) but not yet legs.

See this thread for details of grasshopper 2 and a photo of a folding leg http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1150976-spacex-reusable-launcher-grasshopper-thread-2/

ghroast2.jpg

Edited by paramat

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Official update on the relight test:

"Though not a primary mission objective, SpaceX was also able to initiate two engine relights on the first stage. For the first restart burn, we lit three engines to do a supersonic retro propulsion, which we believe may be the first attempt by any rocket stage. The first restart burn was completed well and enabled the stage to survive reentering the atmosphere in a controlled fashion.

SpaceX then lit the center engine for a single engine burn. That relight also went well, however we exceeded the roll control authority of the attitude control thrusters. This particular stage was not equipped with landing gear which could have helped stabilize the stage like fins would on an aircraft. The stage ended up spinning to a degree that was greater than we could control with the gas thrusters on board and ultimately we hit the water relatively hard.

However, SpaceX recovered portions of the stage and now, along with the Grasshopper tests, we believe we have all the pieces to achieve a full recovery of the boost stage."

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At last here's the first flight of F9R dev, the second test vehicle, 60% larger than grasshopper.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UjWqQPWmsY

Latest news on the F9R flight to the ISS is that the experimental soft landing at sea with legs equipped went well, see Elon's twitter feed for details https://twitter.com/elonmusk This could be the start of low cost space access and serious space colonisation, which of course is a central theme of Macross.

Edited by paramat

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