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After watching the Falcon Heavy launch today I was curious if anyone else here watched it, then I realized that I didn't see any dedicated threads for NASA & SpaceX here on MW. 

Any thing you want to post whether it's the most modern news from NASA, SpaceX, the European Space Agency, etc. too the Moon landings, Gemini & Space Shuttle missions, feel free to post here. 

 

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My cousin and his family watched it take off in Florida, posted some some nice video and photos on Facebook. They also witnessed the SpaceX rocket explosion in 2016 IIRC. That video was intense! 

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That's cool. lucky they got to see it in person. One of these days I need to get down to FL and watch a launch. 

I remember watching that SpaceX rocket on a Live Feed, that explosion was insane, especially the delayed shock wave!

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Culture_Shock.png

 

Edited by Gerli
  • Upvote 1

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This was the moment that really impressed me about today's event! 

 

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I was supposed to be at a field location away from a computer today and was really worried I'd miss it. Fortunately for me, that didn't end up happening and I got to watch the stream. It was a phenomenal watch. Absolutely spectacular from start to finish.

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That launch was epic, flawless from start to finish.  And man, Space-X has that booster landing on the recovery pad down pat; seeing that tandem touch down was a thing of beauty.

I got a chuckle out of the "Don't Panic" on the center console's screen... but the car should've been a 1959 white Corvette... just say'n...

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Well, since Apollo-era nostalgia was specifically requested, we're sitting on the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 14 landing, where Alan Shepard became the first man to play golf on an extraterrestrial body.

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22 minutes ago, JB0 said:

Well, since Apollo-era nostalgia was specifically requested, we're sitting on the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 14 landing, where Alan Shepard became the first man to play golf on an extraterrestrial body.

One of those great moments in history! 

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What was truly impressive was when SpaceX first landed its rocket on a ship.  That was awesome.  I admit the dual landing yesterday looked fantastic, but I was thinking the water landing was more so.  It was too bad that the center booster yesterday didn't land, that would've been spectacular.

What's most impressive about Musk is the fact that he has turned the traditional launch industry on its head.  Sure, he is burning through money to get to where things are, but who could've dreamed when Musk started Space X that he is where he is today.  He was up against ULA, which was a behemoth in the industry.  

I wonder when Jeff Bezos is going to step up and put more rockets up from Blue Origin, I hope that ULA gets a third competitor, because those guys have been way too old school, and not in a good way.  This way, they can either survive, or they can go the way of the dinosaurs.  But for NASA, this is just a great thing.  I'm really looking forward to when Space X strap on four boosters to the main core, that's going to be a whooping 45 engines on the rocket.  Hopefully we'll get back to the moon at least within the next decade.

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I watched it aired live on the Science Channel, and it was an exciting launch. However, landing the support rockets simultaneously has to go down as one of the most impressive accomplishments in history; I can't imagine how awesome it must have been to see it in person. It's a wonderful and necessary update to the technologies we were employing during the Shuttle era, which relied primarily on 60's and 70's tech, with some 80's tech thrown in. So it's nice to see science fiction becoming reality once again. I wish Mr. Musk and his team every success, as it's looking more and more like Man's future in space exploration is solidifying with their efforts.  

At the same time, NASA's role seems diminished in this new race to become spacefarers, and that's bittersweet. They used to be at the forefront, synonymous with amazing achievements and technologies brought to bear in space and aeronautics, and other than renting out their launch pad, just don't seem to have the involvement as they once did, or at least not the media exposure. Unfortunately, space telescopes, interstellar satellites, and Mars rovers just don't capture the attention like they once did, despite being enormous technological achievements, not to mention a little endeavor called the ISS. It's a bit sad that the public at large doesn't get excited about these things anymore; I like watching the NASA Channel and Science Channel when they have scientists who are involved with these programs come on and talk about the information being gleaned- to see their excitement over new discoveries is cool. I wish I had the mental wherewithal to be a part of it, but I don't; I can only enjoy it vicariously, and keep hoping that smart driven people will continue the journey.

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NASA's been getting stiffed by Congress for decades. The space shuttle itself was a massive compromise. Don't misunderstand, I love what they do and think we NEED a science-focused non-business space organization, but... they can't get the funds to do serious long-term exploration, nor guarantee their stability. They do a lot with the funds they get, but those funds are just so very limited.

 

They had plans for an array of rockets with different purposes, and were told "You can have ONE rocket and it has to do everything". Attempts to do that led to cost overruns, delays(which killed Skylab), and a very expensive lifter that struggled to reach any of its goals.

 

Their plans to follow up from Apollo with permanent moonbases and space stations and men on Mars were all completely* cancelled because we'd beat the Russians and Nixon didn't care for furthering a program that continued to put feathers in Kennedy's posthumous cap.

 

*Okay, we got a space station out of Skylab, but it was kind of a hackjob.

"What we gonna do with these leftover Saturn Vs, now that Apollo's dead?"

"I dunno. Gut one and put a habitat inside it. 'S big enough. Call it a space station. Hang our leftover lunar lander on the end as a telescope mount."

Edited by JB0

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I would not put all of that on Nixon's head, probably not even most of it.  The big recession hit in the seventies, we HAD beat the Russians to the moon and so practically nobody cared any longer, and the seeds of the Government can't do anything right paradigm were really starting to kick in then.  Back to the present, every time I hear a president (either party) make grandiose claims about space exploration I cringe or laugh since it NEVER coincides with any funding.

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On 2/7/2018 at 4:08 PM, kajnrig said:

Wear headphones (I love this channel):

 

That was REALLY cool with my new good headphones!! I wanna hear more of his stuff! 

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If you using head phones do be careful as this one is loud and no annoying music... Straight up boosters!!! 

 

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We're headed for the Sun! 

 

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I've done no reading on the Parker, but I'm curious if they swathed it in tiles similar to what were used on the orbiters (the accidental dislodging of which spelled Columbia's doom), as not much else, at least here on Earth, can handle the temps and still allow anything to survive.

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2 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

I've done no reading on the Parker, but I'm curious if they swathed it in tiles similar to what were used on the orbiters (the accidental dislodging of which spelled Columbia's doom), as not much else, at least here on Earth, can handle the temps and still allow anything to survive.

I seriously doubt it,  the inspection of the tiles between each flight was a monstrous time and money pit.  The Shuttle was a failure from the perspective of being an AFFORDABLE reusable spacecraft but was a treasure of information on bad ideas.

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Posted (edited)

You sound like you have an inside track. I've read Rowland White's "Into the Black" concerning the development of Columbia, the astronauts involved, her first flight, and certain secret govt ops with which she was tasked. Very interesting book. I'm currently reading "Bringing Columbia Home" by Michael Leinbach, who was intimately involved in the recovery and fault determination after Columbia's disintegration upon reentry, which was due to the damage to tiles and the loss of a reinforced carbon carbon(RCC) structure(s) on Columbia's left leading edge upon liftoff and upon achieving orbit, respectively. 

It goes without saying, if one is familiar with the heat resistant tiles and their maintenance, even at layman's level, that they posed both the only solution for heat protection and the greatest weakness to the orbiter on every flight. NASA had some close calls, the experience of which made them a bit too nonchalant in Columbia's case. In reality, had the crew done an EVA (the Canada Arm wasn't equipped on STS-107, so an EVA would have been much more difficult to accomplish), there's likely little they could have done to make repairs, and thus would have been aware of their fates upon reentry. Instead, NASA gave them reassurances that there was "absolutely no concern for reentry", believing it to be true without validation. The rest is tragic history. I'm more aware than most, as Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson, USAF, was from my adopted hometown of Spokane, WA, and we have any number of streets, highways, and monuments dedicated to his memory.

Anyway, concerning Parker, it's apparent, given the mission at hand, that she's going to need some serious sunblock 3M if she's to survive her mission intact. I'm just curious what that protection entails, especially given the fragility and difficult application of the ceramic or foam tiles used in the Shuttle program.

Edited by M'Kyuun

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It's a fascinating bit of tech, that's for sure.  They're calling in the "Thermal Protection System" or TPS (Queue "Office Space" clip...).  Basically it's this:

Quote

using a carbon composite foam sandwiched between two carbon plates

from this source.

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IIRC the new reusable reentry vehicles look more like the old Apollo style.  That design allows the heat shield to be protected from liftoff by an outer shell since it is only on the bottom of the craft and not exposed to all the junk falling off the rocket during takeoff.  That will help a lot with safety.

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1 minute ago, Dynaman said:

IIRC the new reusable reentry vehicles look more like the old Apollo style.  That design allows the heat shield to be protected from liftoff by an outer shell since it is only on the bottom of the craft and not exposed to all the junk falling off the rocket during takeoff.  That will help a lot with safety.

Also, if I recall the new heat shield is ablative. It is intended to be replaced after use.

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