How Not to Land an Orbital Rocket Booster

Discussion in 'General Science' started by nsaspook, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. nsaspook

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  2. wayneh

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    My mechanical engineering friend sent me that this week. It looks pretty bad until you consider that the benchmark when they started was 100% failure, by design. Now they recover almost all of them and can joke about the long path to get there. Pretty cool.
     
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  3. OBW0549

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    Just goes to show ya, rocket science ain't easy.

    IMO, what they've accomplished so far is just plain amazing.
     
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  4. atferrari

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    Maybe I am interpreting things in the wrong way but I feel that compiling and editing a "funny" video like that or making fun of those trying to find a new way, is easy. I am sure those in the program are certainly being more serious because they are trying to find/create a solution.

    If nowadays we sail in safer vessels than in the past it is because intelligent naval architects defined more and more valid scantlings to build the new ones based on the so many disasters occurring along the centuries. But laughing at it? I do not think so.
     
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  5. OBW0549

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    The video was compiled by SpaceX, not by someone mocking SpaceX.
     
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  6. wayneh

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    Laughing at someone else’s failures comes naturally. Laughing at one’s own failures is a critical life skill that’s not so easy to learn.
     
  7. OBW0549

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    Indeed. SpaceX has never been ashamed at their failures (which, compared to America's failed launches during the "Space Race," have been very few). Back when SpaceX started launching rockets with the Falcon 1, the first three flights were spectacular failures, yet they promptly posted the videos on their web site for all to see. On the first flight, the rocket went up about a thousand feet and then crashed due to a massive fire in the fuel system. The second flight made it up to stage separation, but the first stage continued burning and producing thrust after the explosive bolts had detonated and the pushers had pushed the first stage away; so it came roaring back and slammed into the second stage engine, crushing it right in front of the camera. On the third try, launching and staging took place normally, but something in the second stage attitude control software made it start yawing back and forth-- subtly at first, but with increasing amplitude to the point where the flight was terminated.

    But SpaceX never flinched; after each failure they confidently announced that they'd find the problem, fix it, and do better next time. And they did. The fourth launch ended up in the intended orbit without a hitch.
     
  8. WBahn

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    Very true, but to give the devil his due the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were much further into uncharted territory on all the basic fundamentals and SpaceX had their shoulders to stand on.

    Yep. They put their failures out there for the world to see. And the U.S. did, as well. Not so with the U.S.S.R.
     
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  9. GopherT

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    You are half right. It was compiled by SpaceX, but SpaceX was certainly mocking themselves.
     
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  10. tranzz4md

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    Whoever pays the bills can make the calls, but I don't know why parachutes aren't used to reduce the velocity/cushion things. If they actually are landing these 1st stage boosters on their primary discharge ends, and on that small and unstable a target, there's an awful lot that's not being shown. I'm pretty skeptical tho. A video doesn't convince me of much.
     
  11. ericgibbs

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    hi,
    Not wishing to sound confrontational regarding the excellent work of the USA and USSR, but their initial/early success was based on the shoulders of the German V2 rocket engineers and hardware, captured at the end of WW2.

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140905-the-nazis-space-age-rocket

    E
    Footnote:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14783135
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
  12. WBahn

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    No doubt about it. But then the German's work in WWII was based on earlier work by Goddard, Tsiolkovsky, Oberth, and others, whose works were based on Hale, whose work was based on Congreve, whose work was based on.... the Chinese.
     
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  13. wayneh

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    Huh? Are you implying you don't believe them?
     
  14. ericgibbs

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    hi WB,
    Very true.
    It appears that as well as satellites orbiting the Earth, rocket science/technology has also circled the Globe, back to the Chinese and it's neighbour..
    Let us hope common sense prevails and rockets are used for the advancement of human kind and not for self annihilation.

    Eric
    BTW: I was a school boy during WW2, so I have already been on the receiving end of V1's and V2's.
     
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  15. cmartinez

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    A few years ago I read this book about the life of Wernher von Braun... extremely interesting. The guy just wanted to make rockets and saw the Nazi government as a perfect source of resources to accomplish that goal... too bad that they were destined to kill people... and that they used slave labor in the form of war prisoners to build them... He was an interesting, but flawed, fella.
     
  16. wayneh

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    One of the most pivotal inventions in the history of mankind was the process to convert energy to fertilizer, Fritz Haber's nitrogen fixation process. This allowed the world population to grow from 1 to 7 billion in the last century. (I said pivotal, not good or bad.) It's certain that this man's process saved billions from starvation.

    That same process enabled Germany to make nitrates for explosives for WW I. But that's not the conundrum. This is: Fritz Haber went on to become known as the "father of chemical warfare" when he learned how to weaponize chlorine and personally attended its first uses on the battlefield a century ago. His wife committed suicide, most likely in protest of this ghastly activity. And then he invented Zyklon A, an insecticide that went on to be used in the Nazi death camps where some of his own family members died.

    Interesting, but flawed indeed.
     
  17. GopherT

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    It sounds like you may have read the book, "Alchemy of Air".
     
  18. wayneh

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    No, I learned this on an NPR show. Maybe Radio Lab? I think the theme was ethics in science or something like that.
     
  19. GopherT

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    If you found it interesting, the book covers the whole story from nitrate mining in Chile and the depletion of the reserves to the development of the Haber story, the commercializations by Bosch - his career risk of putting all his eggs in the ammonia process, the development of ammonia burners to make nitrates, the process & the process safety, the innovation of overcoming hydrogen embrittlement, the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the neighboring town of Oppau.

    Ok, now you don't have to read it.
     
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  20. nsaspook

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    Wow, now that is a hole in the ground.

    [​IMG]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_nitrate_disasters
     
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