Being sad I set the alarm for 0130 today to watch SpaceX / Elon Musk's
latest rocketry (launch and then recovery) efforts.
They nailed it. Very impressive.
Webcast "meat" starts about 20 minutes in here:
First stage landing video here:
....if I was 30 years younger I think I'd be applying for a job with
Guardian article quotes Musk as saying this will significantly reduce
launch costs, but I don't think I have ever seen figures for the
proportion of the cost which is associated with a new first stage every
launch. Those rocket engines cannot be cheap. OTOH they probably need a
bit of refurbishment too.
One of the advantages expressed for the Soyuz while Tim Peake's
takeoff was being prepared was that they just made a new one for every
launch, so they didn't have to spend time and money refurbishing used
parts, in the way that the Saturn rockets did. Which made sense, and at
least you know that you have all new parts under you.
Yes, but the experience gained from close examination of a used rocket
must be invaluable when it comes to designing the next, improved,
version. For instance, which parts were overspecified and which were
I assume you mean Shuttle, not Saturn. Saturn was entirely expendable.
It could be said that the Russians are just following the old Soviet
approach. But that's hard to judge without knowing what it costs to
build an engine, what limits its lifetime, what refurbishment is
needed, and what that refurbishment costs.
The ion engines on the Dawn probe have been running for years and
stopped/restarted many times. But there, there's only a tiny thrust and
probably very low stress on the engine. However, in deep space, and if
you've got plenty of time, who cares.
"Freedom is sloppy. But since tyranny's the only guaranteed byproduct of
those who insist on a perfect world, freedom will have to do." -- Bigby Wolf
I thought that the Beeb said 'Saturn', but I can't be bothered to try
and confirm that. I agree that the Shuttle launch system would be
But then the BBC said this morning that the Space-X landed back on its
original launchpad yesterday, which would have been a real trick, so
they have form in this.
Well I'm not sure I can be bothered to analyse that paragraph to bits
Can we agree that no part of the Saturn system was re-used, in contrast
to the Shuttle, whose boosters (of O-ring fame) were recovered,
refurbished, and re-used.
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a
friend.... if you have one." - GB Shaw to Churchill "Cannot possibly
Apparently they charge about $60M for a commercial launch. Already far
less (per kilo) than anybody else.
SpaceX is already disrupting the market.
If they can reduce costs 10 or 20% with reuse it will be hard for
anybody to touch them.
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