- The Chicago Astronomer -
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Unlike at other message boards, no one here is replying with comments. Are you uncertain whether the video is fake? It's not. The rocket test occurred in Texas last Friday afternoon. I learned of it in a tweet by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
I was astounded by the number of people on youtube that have no sense of scale and believe that an eagle or other bird flew into the rocket and died.
Indeed, Erik, the telescopic lens makes the bird appear huge and near the rocket when it is actually much nearer the camera. Telescope users are more likely to understand that.
The Grasshopper method is similar to the way rockets landed in old sci-fi films. Private firm SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has become the embodiment of Tom Swift. I found the link to the video in a Musk tweet. He is a Johnny Cash fan, hence the music. Some viewers think the video is fake. If it were, the smoke during landing would be moving toward the rocket.
Musk founded and later sold PayPal. He is also the CEO of Tesla Motors and the chairman of SolarCity, both publicly owned. The stock prices of those two reached all-time records this week. At the bottom of my website homepage you will find a National Geographic YouTube video describing the design and assembly of a Tesla Model S with many comments from Musk: www.CurtRenz.com
Last Edit: Apr 24, 2013 19:21:45 GMT -6 by Centaur
Kinda like the old school method of space craft concepts...
The multi-repeat use of motors and one stage lift/descend.
The expensive first stage rockets and fuel tanks for the shuttles and other spacecraft were wastefully discarded. A profit oriented private firm seeks cost savings that government often disregards. As Musk explains during the SpaceX portion of this interview, rockets cost far more than fuel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgKWPdJWuBQ
Most of the return braking from outer space is due to atmospheric friction. This slows an object to its terminal velocity. For a person this is about 120 mph, and I expect less for a large nearly empty rocket. Gravity does most of the lowering. The remaining fuel would only need to slow the now lightened rocket from its relatively modest terminal velocity.