Babies versus boosters, no contest (8 Feb, 2018)

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Babies versus boosters, no contest (8 Feb, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:15 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2018/0208.shtml

Wow. Double-wow. Fantastic!

Those were just some of the words I was saying out-loud during the live-stream of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch yesterday.

The excitement and buzz that I remember feeling as a kid watching space stuff back in the 1960s was back and it was great!

So where was the rest of the world?

Why were so many mundane "news" stories getting higher priority than this monumental and awesome event?

What is wrong with a world that is more fixated on "celebrity" than science, technology and adventure?

I have to say that it's all rather depressing to realise where we're headed as a species.

Did you watch the livestream?

Were you impressed (especially with the synchronised booster landings)?

Did you love the touch of Douglas Adams?
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Re: Babies versus boosters, no contest (8 Feb, 2018)

Postby hagfish » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:13 am

I watched the live stream. My heart was pounding as we hit T-minus 30. The cheering and whooping drowned out the rocket-crackle, but at least there was no 'USA-USA' chant this time. I guess there was a memo..

I had a laugh at the 'DON'T PANIC', and I'll bet there's a towel in the glove-box. When those two boosters landed in perfect symphony - that was magic. Even the animation didn't have them quite that synchronised.

Apparently only one engine lit on the third core (instead of three), and it 'landed' next to the drone ship at about 300mph. Oh well.

I'm glad I didn't bother sitting down for the News at Six. Maybe they thought everyone who wanted to watch the launch, already did. Meanwhile, the final burn has sent our Starman even higher than they thought - out toward the asteroids.
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Re: Babies versus boosters, no contest (8 Feb, 2018)

Postby GSVNoFixedAbode » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:14 am

I had the live stream of the Roadster playing on my other monitor for just about the full 4-5 hours.
- Launching a rocket - admittedly not a huge news story
- 2 boosters landing in sync - damn that was cool
- Centre Core landing on OCISLY drone: dammit Drone, you had 1 job!
- Watching a space-suited mannequin in a Tesla roadster orbit the earth in near-realtime from 3 camera positions while sitting at my desk WAS JUST FREAKIN' COOL!!!
And the true geek-worthiness of it all was just superb: from the 'Don't Panic' message, the towel and HHGTTG book in the glovebox along with Azimov's Foundation series, the model Tesla and figurine on the dash, right to the 'made by humans on Earth' inscription on the circuit board! And to think it'll be in a solar orbit around Earth/Mars for as long as we're around is a nice reminder of the efforts.

[Edit] Whoops, looks like it'll be going past Mars and into the Asteroid Belt according to the update - someone must have selected Ludicrous Speed mode

Elon Musk certainly understands showmanship!
Last edited by GSVNoFixedAbode on Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Babies versus boosters, no contest (8 Feb, 2018)

Postby latewings » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:25 am

I agree totally about the lacklustre media attention in GodZone about the event. The laughable story carried on NZH was that the centre core had exploded, nothing but a few words that the launch was, in Elon's expectations, a success. EM's statement that if the rocket did not explode on launch he'd be happy. Not only did it not dissemble rapidly, it did almost entirely what was expected: go up fast and park a car in orbit. Don't panic indeed, and I believe there's a copy of Mr Adam's book along with a towel (sans nutrients probably) in the glove box.

The dual, almost synchronous landing of both side boosters shows just how precise the engineering SpaceX have developed is, and that's an incredible feat.

It was a fantastic day for science.
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Re: Babies versus boosters, no contest (8 Feb, 2018)

Postby SeeNoEvil » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:46 am

I loved it (overall). I set my alarm, then woke up after the time I thought I'd set only to discover I'd set it for 7:15 pm instead of am. Big panic, then relief to find it was delayed until 9:45 am. Fantastic....

BUT:

1. Live stream showed two video frames meant to be the two side boosters but actually just from the same one. Someone obviously stuffed up. Okay, mistakes happen, but the SpaceX commentators several times commented in ways to suggest the video was from separate boosters. No. It was not, although SpaceX later uploaded another video that corrected this.

2. SpaceX commentators almost certainly knew there was a problem with the centre core that failed to land in one piece, but fudged around that.

3. SpaceX material described the Falcon Heavy as the most powerful operational launch vehicle (or words to that general effect). So that's a little "tricky" as Saturn V and others no longer in use were in fact a little more powerful. Then the idiot media (TV3 last night and NZ Herald today, for example), just come out and say it is the most powerful rocket ever launched.

4. Ditto all the stupid and inaccurate statements about it going into orbit around Mars, and then suggesting the "overshoot" was some kind of error or failure.

Why can't we just have everybody speaking and writing accurately? Elon Musk seems (mostly) to be say it like it is. His PR people need to be open and accurate also, and the media (world wide) need to get a few clues.

Anyway, putting all that aside, it was GREAT!!
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Re: Babies versus boosters, no contest (8 Feb, 2018)

Postby SeeNoEvil » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:12 pm

Links to some youtube videos that I think are worth a watch...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImoQqNyRL8Y (plug in some headphones for the "binaural" sound experience)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59pY74ZhQ50 (continuous and unedited, from launch to side booster landings)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7LJIuB2CHE (fairly short, but still capturing the excitement of the event)
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Re: Babies versus boosters, no contest (8 Feb, 2018)

Postby roygbiv » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:55 pm

Who is Kim Kardashian ? Does she work for Elon Musk ?
Am afraid I had to catch the highlights on YouTube, busy day at the orifice.
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Re: Babies versus boosters, no contest (8 Feb, 2018)

Postby greven » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:33 pm

It must be a chilly day in hell for me to find out about celebrity "news" from Aardvark. These extreme climate variations are really getting out of hand.
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Re: Babies versus boosters, no contest (8 Feb, 2018)

Postby Muscular Jam » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:54 pm

So in terms of "coolness factor" how does a cherry Tesla Roadster playing David Bowie's Space Oddity en route to the asteroid belt compare to a disco ball?
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Re: Babies versus boosters, no contest (8 Feb, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:57 am

Muscular Jam wrote:So in terms of "coolness factor" how does a cherry Tesla Roadster playing David Bowie's Space Oddity en route to the asteroid belt compare to a disco ball?

Yes, I had to admit that while I was watching the Falcon Heavy soar into space (and eventually towards the asteroid belt), it put NZ's accomplishment of remaining firmly behind India in respect to reaching for space, into stark perspective.
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