SpaceX Rocket Successfully Completes "Lateral Divert" Test

SpaceX Rocket Successfully Completes "Lateral Divert" Test

SpaceX has successfully launched, maneuvered and landed a Falcon 9 rocket, a big step toward the creation of reliable, reusable spacecraft.

Space exploration is an expensive endeavor, in no small part because of the cost of the vehicles needed to actually get there. A Falcon 9 rocket runs about $54 million to build, according to SpaceX, while the fuel costs just $200,000, yet the rocket is only used once.

"Compare that to a commercial airliner. Each new plane costs about the same as Falcon 9, but can fly multiple times per day, and conduct tens of thousands of flights over its lifetime," SpaceX says on its website. "Following the commercial model, a rapidly reusable space launch vehicle could reduce the cost of reaching Earth orbit by a hundredfold."

The development of a reliable, reusable rocket would represent an absolute sea change in the nature of space exploration, in other words, which is what makes this "lateral divert" test so important. It's very preliminary, but it demonstrates that these things can be launched, controlled and landed - and then topped-off and put up again.

And preliminary or not, it's an extraordinary feat. The Falcon 9 is more than ten stories tall and balances on more thrust than five pedal-to-the-metal 747s. Keeping it from angling off and crashing into somebody's back yard - much less demonstrating controlled flight - is nothing short of astounding. The future is a wonderful thing.

Source: SpaceX YouTube channel

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Welp, I guess those "reverse-liftoffs" in old sci-fi movies were possible after all...

Elon Musk does it again. This guy is pretty much the new big genius after Tesla. The real life Tony Stark, if you're feeling dramatic.

The last time stuff like this happened was when the Nazis hadn't a freaking clue what they were doing, and made rockets with a 1:1 lift ratio, so they simply hovered a few feet of the ground while flying sideways, until they hit something and blew up.

Which just goes to show how much knowhow we've gained since then, and how much more effort it takes, to do this sort of thing in a controlled manner intentionally; 71 years later.

Jebediah would be proud.

Amazing. I am so glad this area of research went to the private sector. It was just so damn stagnant and just a plain bureaucratic nightmare. This is impressive.

Funny side story: I love Twilight Zone. I was watching an episode of the Twilight Zone where these guys are landing their rocket on an asteroid with an atmosphere (which is hilarious in itself), but the rocket landed like this one does. And I said to myself, "Haha, the ideas they had back then. You can't land a rocket ship that way!"... well, I'm eating those words and they are actually kind of tasty.

Gaming site does news stories about stuff completely unrelated to gaming, doesn't even mention Kerbal Space Program.

Golf clap time.

Woot! One step closer to Kerbal!

Baresark:
Amazing. I am so glad this area of research went to the private sector. It was just so damn stagnant and just a plain bureaucratic nightmare. This is impressive.

Funny side story: I love Twilight Zone. I was watching an episode of the Twilight Zone where these guys are landing their rocket on an asteroid with an atmosphere (which is hilarious in itself), but the rocket landed like this one does. And I said to myself, "Haha, the ideas they had back then. You can't land a rocket ship that way!"... well, I'm eating those words and they are actually kind of tasty.

NASA would have done fine if they actually got funding like they used to. Given the budget NASA has had to work with, they did pretty well, sending Curiosity to Mar and all the other probes and telescopes out there.

Still a VERY long way to getting to space with a reusable vehicle. But I suppose it's an admirable goal. Right now, it's not even as useful as a Harrier which was first built back in 1969.

Face it, when it comes to aerospace, we haven't made many leaps forward in the last 50 years.

It's nice to see progress when it comes to space exploration. Something that seems to not get any decent funding anymore from governments.

Anarchemitis:
The last time stuff like this happened was when the Nazis hadn't a freaking clue what they were doing, and made rockets with a 1:1 lift ratio, so they simply hovered a few feet of the ground while flying sideways, until they hit something and blew up.

Which just goes to show how much knowhow we've gained since then, and how much more effort it takes, to do this sort of thing in a controlled manner intentionally; 71 years later.

You think that's amazing? What about the fact that we went from our rickety first flight to going to the freaking moon in little more than half a decade? :)

Adam Jensen:
Elon Musk does it again. This guy is pretty much the new big genius after Tesla. The real life Tony Stark, if you're feeling dramatic.

I have such a crush on elon stark

GO MUSK!

The man has vision, resources, and the dedication to his goals to carry them out. There is a EXCELLENT chance of me getting an apartment on the moon thanks to him. I hope that his company succeeds in getting everything he needs operational.

Reusable rocket? just bolt 14 parachutes to the outside like I do in KSP.

Is it piloted by a naked woman in a tank? I'm still waiting for that.

#OutlawStar

NOW ATTACH A BARRACKS TO IT!!!

Seriously though, one step closer to Terran buildings that can fly and land, good job Space X.

 

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