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This thread is privately moderated by Jack Crossfire, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Jul 24, 2014, 12:12 AM
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The future is everywhere & nowhere.

Quad copter hoverbikes, autonomous follow cams, drone pizza delivery, self driving cars, self balancing motorcycles, & $5 trips to space are just around the corner, now. They've been just around the corner for a while, but now they're really just around the corner. Another impossible claim seems to come out every day, making all the stuff from last week obsolete.

The promises are getting bigger & bigger, but they're all extrapolating from the same old technology which hasn't improved in years. We've all been in a company that's trying to get bought out or have an IPO. They report every smallest, most tentative sale for the next 10 years, every possible source of revenue they could possibly make for the next 100 years, all as their current quarter's income.

That's what the current promises feel like, but every new promise extrapolates more than the last one. Merely breathing now nets $1 million in kickstarter donations & a belief that unicorns are going to ship in 3 months, just because unicorns breathe.

The current movement is feeding on the positive psychology movement that began in 2005. What began as the positive psychology movement mutated into refinancing ever less amounts of property into ever more amounts of money & that now has mutated into a requirement that every invention be believed, no matter how preposterous.

No-one asks questions anymore. No-one is allowed to have doubts. Pictures have nothing to do with what's been achieved. The company line is followed to the letter. Scientific method be damned, Google is going to make the world flat next year & not investing in it makes you a Debbie downer.

Falcon 9 First Stage Return | ORBCOMM Mission (1 min 19 sec)

To be sure, the Falcon 9 stage re-entry videos are sort of like seeing the beginning of a future very different from the present. They both landed under their own friggin power, on the ocean. Then they fell over & disintegrated. There is an enormous leap from this to being able to reuse a stage, but it's enough to claim cheap space travel is just around the corner.

Don't think the optimism was this unquestioned when the shuttle boosters were landing in the ocean & the things were actually being reused. We inherently knew the system wasn't fully reusable & a lot of refurbishment was required. There's a lot of hope Falcon 9 will be more reusable, someday.
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Jul 24, 2014, 02:23 AM
get to the chopper now !
tsooi's Avatar
Why go to any other planet we have not completely ruined this one yet.
Jul 24, 2014, 09:38 AM
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Jack, normally I agree with your posts, however, SpaceX truly is doing remarkable things. In the same time frame, and on less of a budget than Richard Branson, Musk has succeeded in a reusable craft that is cheaper to re-supply the space station, than a single flight of space ship two. SpaceX has successfully been certified for DoD operations, and they are diligently working towards their manned certifications.

SpaceX has earned themselves a very good reputation proving time and time again that their engineering is solid, techniques proven, and outcome is succesful. For example, they claim the main stage can lose up to 3 engines and continue the mission. They have already proven succesful with 2 engine outs only seconds after launch. These are all claims that no other space organization can claim. On top of this, they have proven time and time again that their grasshopper test aircraft software and flight control is up for the task, they have proven it's control and deceleration burn on re-entry is successful, and their pin point water landing is succesful. They have now been successful twice with their main stage re-entry andocean landing. I don't quite understand your comment regarding the stage falling over? Is this not acceptable even though it is on water (IE no solid surface).

In my personal opinion, if they say they are ready for a land based landinf, I believe they are.

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