[ExI] SpaceX launch

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Wed Dec 8 21:54:01 UTC 2010

Dan wrote:

>Yahoo says it splashed down and was recovered.

I just watched the press conference with Musk et al on NASA TV. 
Everything worked
better than they'd planned. 17 of 18 engines were fine, 1 burbled. 1 
of 3 chutes
needed to land, but all worked. Wanted to land within 10 km of 
target, looks like it
was 800 m. All comm systems worked. Landed within 50 seconds of pre-launch
prediction. Heat shields designed for Mars or lunar re-entry; heated 
to 1% of capacity.
Launched a micro-sat for the Army from the second stage (first Army 
launch in 50
years). Flight would have been nominal for passengers -- max 5G. NASA 
said if this
went well, they'd okay the next flight going to the ISS; Musk expects 
this will happen.
Only downside is that they didn't get the first stage, but he says 
that wasn't a mission
goal. Coming soon -- LEM-style landing on helipad, retaining the 
fallback to parachute.

-- David.

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