>>7794618 Funny you mention the space shuttle, because it has the same exact problem. By the time you over-engineer something enough to make it reusable, it isn't any cheaper than just using an expendable vehicle.
>>7795648 >What is the DC-X Aside from not being part of an orbital launch system?
Delta Clipper wasn't a realistic design. DC-X was nowhere near flight weight for orbit. The Delta Clipper was supposed to be a single-stage-to-orbit, but they would have struggled to make a version of it that could reach the karman line. DC-X was limited to short, low-altitude flight.
Building a rocket isn't hard. Kids do that for fun. Building an orbital launch vehicle is hard. Governments and megacorps commonly spend hundreds of millions trying and fail.
Similarly, building a VTVL rocket is modestly challenging. Small teams do that in a few years with a few million dollars. Making one that also has the performance to be a useful part of a terrestrial orbital launch system is something people have wanted to do since the 1940s, and failed at up to now.
>>7795633 Yeah, it is kind of like winning a boxing match and having your coach give you a pat on the back that brings you down because you are so tired and your knee gave out. Then having all the newspapers say you lost the match.
>>7795667 True though. The more legs there are the more stable it will be. 3 legs are all that is technically needed, 4 is better, 5 is even better, and so on. With 5 legs, one can have a fault and there's a good chance it will remain standing. 6 legs and it'd never have any problem if it sticks the initial landing.
>>7795672 I think adding legs is not a perfect solution.
Imagine if the rocket is staggering just before landing. The more legs you have it becomes vulnerable to errors. Imagine 10 legs: the rocket is staggering, hits one leg and because of that broken damage the rocket is staggering even more and BAM shits broken
>>7794618 To be fair, such insistence on not failing is a bit more justified when half a dozen people's lives are at stake. Of course that all goes out the window when you've got management that goes "Eh, fuck it, sure it could fail catastrophically, but it hasn't failed in he past so we should be good." whenever someone comes forward with a major safety issue.
>>7794630 The problem with the Shuttle wasn't over engineering but Congress. Shit gets expensive and convoluted when you've required to source shit from every state even if you could get a better cheaper part from a different state.
>>7795710 If I recall correctly the Helicopter was land based. Here's an article that has a basic overview of how it works: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/06/spacex-augments-upgrades-drone-ship-armada/
>>7795717 By no one near it they meant no one on the barge. The support ship or ships are probably within few miles away. I haven't found anything which gives a specific distance, but there are support ships in the area.
It seems likely it would have been a success, but there was heavy fog on the launchpad at launch and the leg lockout failure was a result of heavier than normal icing. Even so, this was the last of the 1.1 Falcon 9's which were particularly experimental. They are now only flying the new 1.1 Full Thrust version, (the version that landed perfectly a couple weeks ago) which has several improvements, including to the landing legs. I would expect them to solve the ice buildup problem before the next launch, and considering this one landed at the correct speed and exactly on target in high, rolling seas, the next attempt will very likely be a success.
>>7795739 and I know the guy who mentioned more legs was basically called an autistic but what if there were the original 3 legs and then 3 more legs -- one inbetween each that are a bit springy, longer and at a wider angle
>>7795791 Three legs provide no wiggle room provided all stay in contact with the ground, but that is hardly guaranteed. Stability is lower compared to more legs when you take center of mass into account. Besides, with proper engineering it is easy to make four or more legs align in a plane, so the sole advantage of three legs is gone anyway.
>>7795698 >such insistence on not failing is a bit more justified when half a dozen people's lives are at stake. There was never any need for a human pilot on the space shuttle. It was totally irresponsible from the beginning to plan that it would never fly unmanned.
In the early 70s, the landing might have been a bit tricky without a pilot, but by the time it actually flew it was obviously unnecessary, and by the time the shuttle program was cancelled, the risk to human life was blatantly gratuitous.
The concept should have been proven with an unmanned model before they even considered building one with a crew compartment.
That some bad behavior follows from other bad choices is not in any way a mitigation.
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