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SpaceX engine explosion... so what?
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Author:  JamesGifford [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:57 am ]
Post subject:  SpaceX engine explosion... so what?

Anyone who's been paying attention knows that yesterday's SpaceX launch of the first commercial capsule to ISS was successful. Just HOW successful wasn't revealed until today.

The Falcon 9 rocket uses a 9-engine cluster. At a minute and a half into the launch, one of them exploded. (Okay, SpaceX says it had a failure and overpressure ruptured the shielding... 'sploded. Close enough.) And the entire craft tumbled out of control, was ripped to shreds, and spewed flaming wreckage all over the US Atlantic fleet... not.

The onboard controllers shut down the dead engine, rerouted fuel to the other eight, and recalculated the burn time to put the Dragon capsule in a perfect orbit. And apparently no one, including the SpaceX controllers, even knew it happened until the review of video and telemetry.

A few thoughts:

As it should be.

I don't think SpaceX is using any technology more advanced than has been available since at least the early days of shuttle development. It's all in how you use it.

And... I don't know where Heinlein is, but I'm sure he's been an insufferable SOB for the last day or so.

Author:  PeterScott [ Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SpaceX engine explosion... so what?

Yay software.

I think the Space Shuttle has a similar capability. It just never encountered a situation where it got to exercise it. The spectrum of situations where there can be a failure of that magnitude that can be recovered from is extremely narrow.

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