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Amazing Drone Footage of a Space X Reusable Rocketís First Test Flight Launch, Land Vertically
The Next Web ^ | April 19, 2014 | Roberto Baldwin

Posted on 04/20/2014 5:39:21 AM PDT by lbryce

Original Title:Watch: Amazing Drone Footage of a Space X Reusable Rocket’s First Test Flight

Make sure to watch this at full screen view.

Direct Link:YouTube:F9R First Flight Test|250m

This is awesome. The Falcon9 reusable rocket launches and then within minutes lands on its own four feet. Videoed by a drone high above the launch pad meeting up with it to close proximity as the rocket approaches the drone in mid-air.

Published on Apr 18, 2014

Video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) taking its first test flight at our rocket development facility. F9R lifts off from a launch mount to a height of approximately 250m, hovers and then returns for landing just next to the launch stand. Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position. However, we will soon be transitioning to liftoff with legs stowed against the side of the rocket and then extending them just before landing.

The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year (Grasshopper can be seen in the background of this video). Future testing, including that in New Mexico, will be conducted using the first stage of a F9R as shown here, which is essentially a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage with legs. F9R test flights in New Mexico will allow us to test at higher altitudes than we are permitted for at our test site in Texas, to do more with unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more-flight like.

(Excerpt) Read more at thenextweb.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: falcon9; reusable; space; spacex; verticallanding
Must See: SpaceX Falcon9 Site

Wow! This is some technological marvel. Lifts off beautifully as a drone stationed high above the launch pad videos the falcon9 rocketing up to where they practically meet at 250 meters altitude. Then, just as gracefully it begins to land almost as if the video was running in reverse, the mid-air drone not missing a beat as it videos the falcon9 ever so gently landing on its four legs only minutes after taking flight.

It will make you forget all about the shuttle (maybe).

Obama watching the launch only wishes the drone was armed so he could send it careening back to Earth in one fell swoop having placed himself in his favorite position ready to pray and play (wink wink) facing Mecca pleading with Allah to destroy the infidel's "Great Jihadi Spear".

1 posted on 04/20/2014 5:39:21 AM PDT by lbryce
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To: All
There should have been an American flag emblazoned on its fuselage.
2 posted on 04/20/2014 5:46:38 AM PDT by lbryce (Obama:The Worst is Yet To Come)
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To: lbryce

Wow, this is spectacular!


3 posted on 04/20/2014 5:47:22 AM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (The media must be defeated any way it can be done.)
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To: lbryce

Yeah, just like in those old sci-fi movies!


4 posted on 04/20/2014 5:52:54 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: lbryce

It looks like an animation doesn’t it?


5 posted on 04/20/2014 5:54:02 AM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: lbryce

how large would it have to be to carry the fuel necessary to escape the earths gravity and to land again. didn’t the Saturn 5 use all of it’s fuel?


6 posted on 04/20/2014 6:08:06 AM PDT by VaRepublican (I would propagate taglines but I don't know how. But bloggers do.)
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To: VaRepublican

Most of it during launch. It had to lift a lot of mass. Some fuel was left to achieve escape velocity for lunar missions. Then there was the fuel in the Service and Lunar Modules.


7 posted on 04/20/2014 6:11:08 AM PDT by chimera
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To: Sequoyah101

Yes, you know, I was going to make a note about that very thing but I realized it was too real looking to think it was animated.


8 posted on 04/20/2014 6:12:42 AM PDT by lbryce (Obama:The Worst is Yet To Come)
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To: VaRepublican

Saturns and Shuttles used up all the liquid fuels. A few gallons (or hundreds gallons) left at MECO but not enough to do much with. I can’t remember how much residual was in each of the tanks for shuttle but it wasn’t a lot. If Jack Hydrazine checks this out he may have some numbers at hand. I know there was enough LH2 left for it to boil off and pop the relief valve on the LH2 tank.


9 posted on 04/20/2014 6:21:07 AM PDT by rktman (Ethnicity: Redneck. Race: Daytona 500)
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To: VaRepublican

The Saturn V forgetting about mass, weight, was 363 feet tall
(and I’m not sure if that includes the escape hatch)versus the falcon 9 standing at 180 feet, the Saturn V much bulkier as well.


10 posted on 04/20/2014 6:21:38 AM PDT by lbryce (Obama:The Worst is Yet To Come)
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To: VaRepublican

It’s not just that ,, I don’t know what fuel this SpaceX rocket uses but it’s likely much more energy dense than the Saturn ,, Von Braun used cheap available fuels , alcohol and lox (V2),, kerosene and lox (Saturn)


11 posted on 04/20/2014 6:35:21 AM PDT by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
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To: lbryce

“There should have been an American flag emblazoned on its fuselage. “

That wouldn’t be PC. It would also be rasis.


12 posted on 04/20/2014 6:35:59 AM PDT by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: lbryce

That is some amazing materials and aerodynamics work for the legs to take that kind of heat under the dynamic loading conditions of a landing


13 posted on 04/20/2014 6:41:10 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The tree of liberty needs a rope.)
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To: Carry_Okie

According to truthers, steel doesn’t melt.


14 posted on 04/20/2014 6:47:21 AM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can STILL go straight to hell.)
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To: VaRepublican

You actually need very little fuel to land. Terminal velocity for something like this is about 400 miles an hour. So you need just enough fuel to decelerate from that speed to stop at touchdown. Plus at that point your vehicle is mostly empty tanks, so you have way more thrust than you need.


15 posted on 04/20/2014 6:53:42 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: lbryce

This is an amazing guidance and control capability.

I can’t imagine it’s use, as it requires so much propellant weight to first boost and then land the craft.
It would effectively cut the throw weight of the vehicle in half.


16 posted on 04/20/2014 6:54:59 AM PDT by G Larry (There's the Beef!)
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To: lbryce

Technicolor camera reveals secret rocketship takeoff to the moon!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBEfpVkwWS4


17 posted on 04/20/2014 7:28:59 AM PDT by frithguild (The warmth and goodness of Gaia is a nuclear reactor in the Earth's core that burns Thorium)
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To: frithguild
After a tycoon finances a spaceship, the United States makes....

Wow! Sounds amazingly life-like. Just like in real life. And this is genuine news-reel clips from the real thing. Shhh. Don't let Obama know. Shhhh.

18 posted on 04/20/2014 7:47:14 AM PDT by lbryce (Obama:The Worst is Yet To Come)
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To: Neidermeyer
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket uses LOX and RP-1 (refined kerosene). They're working on a methane-fueled engine as well, since you can make methane on Mars via CO2 and hydrogen.

This is not actually the first such landing test - it's only the first test with the flight-design landing legs. They did pathfinding work starting in September 2012 with a vehicle they dubbed "Grasshopper."

SpaceX Advanced Testing Playlist

The multi-angle 24-story hover test one is pretty cool.

19 posted on 04/20/2014 8:09:57 AM PDT by mvpel
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To: G Larry
I can’t imagine it’s use, as it requires so much propellant weight to first boost and then land the craft. It would effectively cut the throw weight of the vehicle in half.

The vehicle is far lighter when it's time to land it than it is when it's launched, since most of the fuel has been used, so it's not "half" - more like 30%. But if you can launch 140% of your original throw weight in two launches by simply refitting and refueling between them, when fuel is 0.3% of the cost of the rocket, instead of building a brand new rocket for the other 40%, then you're far, far ahead of the curve. We don't throw away 747's after every flight, and a rocket costs about as much.

20 posted on 04/20/2014 8:17:15 AM PDT by mvpel
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To: mvpel

Good Luck with that marketing.....


21 posted on 04/20/2014 12:19:41 PM PDT by G Larry (There's the Beef!)
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To: G Larry

22 posted on 04/20/2014 7:49:12 PM PDT by mvpel
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To: G Larry

A 747 has a 15:1 glide ratio, so if they’d just run the fuel tanks dry at 45000 feet and glide the rest of the way in, they could get another 110 nautical miles of range out of it - a 1.5% improvement. If they left off the landing gear and just pulled a Sully in the nearest river every flight, that’d save thousands of pounds of weight increasing the range even more - the tires alone weigh over two tons.

Lamenting a loss of throw weight when you’re able to reuse the launch vehicle is like lamenting the loss of range imposed on your 747 from having to carry tens of thousands of pounds of landing gear.


23 posted on 04/20/2014 8:08:15 PM PDT by mvpel
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To: G Larry; lbryce

Yes, but you have a reusable vehicle, instead of throwaway stages.


24 posted on 04/20/2014 8:11:46 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: mvpel

The ROCKET has a 0:1 glide ratio.

It must sustain thrust all the way back to the landing pad.

Additionally, there is significant structural mass added to the vehicle to be able to land.

Refurb and Recycle costs are also significant, as we learned with Shuttle.
It would have been cheaper to throw the SRBs away than the total costs of making them reusable.
It was a political design, not an engineering, cost/benefit design, because the concept of recycling was sexy.


25 posted on 04/21/2014 4:49:02 AM PDT by G Larry (There's the Beef!)
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To: FreedomPoster

See post #25


26 posted on 04/21/2014 4:49:35 AM PDT by G Larry (There's the Beef!)
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To: G Larry

You’re comparing refurb costs of politicized 1970’s technology to the Falcon 9-R? Say what? We’re talking about SpaceX, not the Shuttle.

And in any case you seem to be missing my point. The mass of the landing gear of a 747 may be “significant” too, even if they were made out of carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb like the F-9R’s landing gear, but the fact that it allows the reuse of a $30-40 million vehicle is more important than the added mass in both cases.

And it’s not actually true that it must sustain thrust all the way to the landing pad. After the three-engine retro burn, the center engine only needs to impart enough delta-V to offset the terminal velocity of the falling, nearly-empty stage close enough to the ground for a soft landing.


27 posted on 04/22/2014 4:13:46 AM PDT by mvpel
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To: mvpel

I’m not “missing” anything.

Here are “some” of the offsets:

Additional:
Propellant to lift the landing prop load.
The Landing prop load.
Structural additions for both.
Overall add’l structure for entire vehicle to support both.
Add’l structure & test to support reuse.
Fac/labor for recycle & test (dif from original factory location.
More robust engines to support reuse.

Range safety changes to support this landing profile.

Did anyone point out that these vehicles don’t go straight up and down?
They fly several hundred miles down range....OVER THE OCEAN, before MECO (Main Engine Cut-off)
Soooo....WHERE are they going to land?

Highly unlikely that we’ll be re-writing Range Safety rules to allow over-land space launches.
We’ll leave that to Russia and China.....


28 posted on 04/22/2014 4:46:04 AM PDT by G Larry (There's the Beef!)
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To: G Larry
... And? ... The offsets are not more than 100%, so I guess I'm not sure what your point is.

"The payload penalty for full and fast reusability versus an expendable version is roughly 40 percent," Musk says. "[But] propellant cost is less than 0.4 percent of the total flight cost. Even taking into account the payload reduction for reusability, the improvement is therefore theoretically over a hundred times."

And the downrange distance 11 seconds before MECO and 14 seconds before staging on the CRS-3 launch was about 60km (about 40 miles), not "several hundred miles."

If you have more robust engines to support reuse, that could offset the offsets, right? You can use titanium instead of stainless steel even though it costs four times more because you're going to reuse the engine 30 times or more, and so you get a higher thrust-to-weight ratio.

29 posted on 04/22/2014 7:43:54 PM PDT by mvpel
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To: mvpel

I addressed Propellant to cite mass and volume, not its cost.

How many miles does it travel in those last 14 seconds?

How is it going to retrace that path?

Using your Musk provided numbers, he wouldn’t grow the vehicle, rather reduce the throw weight. So, 5,000 lbs becomes 3,000 lbs.

I contend the folks writing the Range Safety rules knock that down to 2,500 lbs. max. (50% penalty rather than 40%)

Include Facilities, equipment, test, and labor for refurb....

Just color me skeptical.


30 posted on 04/22/2014 8:04:01 PM PDT by G Larry (There's the Beef!)
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To: G Larry

It’s accelerating towards Mach 10 in those last 14 seconds, so what, the cosine of another 10-15 miles?

It retraces the path by using three engines with 144,000 pounds of thrust to impart horizontal delta-V to a nearly-empty stage that has a 30:1 gross-to-dry mass ratio.

And the expendable Falcon 9 can get nearly 29,000 pounds to LEO, not 5,000 pounds, so accepting your range safety assumption you’re down to 14,500 pounds to LEO, but without having to trash millions of dollars worth of equipment. So you’re in the same ballpark as the Antares or Soyuz-U throw for tens of millions of dollars less money, and you still have enough throw to get a crewed Dragon into orbit.


31 posted on 04/22/2014 8:34:58 PM PDT by mvpel
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To: mvpel

I’d pay to sit in the Range Safety meetings that address the return and landing constraints.


32 posted on 04/23/2014 4:21:57 AM PDT by G Larry (There's the Beef!)
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To: G Larry
Apparently Range Safety has been very supportive.

SpaceX Press Conference - April 25, 2014

33 posted on 04/25/2014 1:52:26 PM PDT by mvpel
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To: G Larry

He says that the boost stage is about 70% of the cost of the launch, per the press conference, so recovery and reuse of only that piece is apparently a pretty large savings.


34 posted on 04/25/2014 1:58:27 PM PDT by mvpel
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To: G Larry

He says that the turnaround time to reuse an ocean-recovered stage would be about 2 months, but with a dry land recovery they could in principle relaunch it the same day.


35 posted on 04/25/2014 2:01:48 PM PDT by mvpel
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