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View Diary: Woo-hoo! Awesome SpaceX Grasshopper "Hover-Slam" Rocket Launch Doubles Previous Height (w/Video) (40 comments)

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  •  My Dad Was a NASA Manned Space Engineer Back (9+ / 0-)

    when so many of our vehicles --which were our nuclear so-called deterrent-- were tipping over and going boom.

    I imagine the biggest improvement since then has to be sensors and computing power, so that instabilities can be picked up and corrected long before things go south.

    Damned Youtube since they disabled continued loading when you hit pause, so you can't have a smooth view without a really high speed connection.

    That's an awesome demonstration. The only vehicles I've seen do this are the LEM and the personal jet pack. Very impressive to see a rocket this large do it.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:12:59 PM PST

    •  Definitely the electronics/software. (4+ / 0-)

      That's been the main area of advancement in human technology overall since Apollo, and part of what makes SpaceX so effective relative to its competitors is that it thoroughly applies those changes to rocketry.  

      It can do that because the Falcon rocket family (of which Grasshopper is a member, since it's a single-engine version of an F9 first stage) is totally new compared to everything else on the market, built from the ground up to incorporate modern principles.  Most other rockets in use today are incremental evolutions of systems going all the way back to the beginning of spaceflight, and the handful of "newer" ones are 15-30 years old and so expensive no one but the government can afford them.

      I think it might actually be easier for a larger rocket to deal with the forces involved in a hover because it has such a large moment of inertia that any given torque changes the angle more slowly.

      Ask me if I'm afraid. I say, "Of course not. I'm a fool, and fools never die."

      by Troubadour on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 04:59:17 PM PST

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