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SpaceX Falcon 1st stage lands at Vandenberg AFB, CA for first time

ionbasa
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SpaceX successfully launched and landed its Falcon 9 this evening, marking the 62nd flight of the vehicle. It was also the 12th ground landing for the company, and the first one on the California coast.
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SpaceX has been wanting to do ground landings out of its other launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, too. The company leased a site there in 2015, a former launch site for the Titan rockets, in order to create a concrete landing pad. However, SpaceX had yet to receive clearance to use the pad, and has only been able to land its West Coast vehicles on drone ships in the Pacific Ocean. But over the summer, the company applied for a license to land at the Vandenberg pad, and now it seems the site is open for business.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/7/17947518/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-launch-vandenberg-california-landing-watch-live

Fun fact:

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The rocket being used for this flight launched from Vandenberg once before. On July 25th, the vehicle lofted 10 satellites for telecommunications company Iridium, and landed on a drone ship in the Pacific. SpaceX is now targeting 10:21PM ET for this liftoff. This launch has an instantaneous launch window, too, so if the rocket doesn’t go up exactly on time, SpaceX will have to try again another day. The company has a backup launch date set for the same time on Thursday, October 11th.

 

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For long time employees of the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company there must be some satisfaction in this. More than a decade ago, when SpaceX sought to begin launching its Falcon 1 rocket, the company asked the Air Force for permission to launch from Vandenberg. But the military and some of the companies using the facility to launch national security missions, including Lockheed Martin and Boeing, looked coolly upon the requests from SpaceX. Now SpaceX has built a landing zone on the former site of Space Launch Complex 4W, where Titan rockets built by Lockheed were previously launched.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/10/spacex-will-attempt-to-make-a-historic-west-coast-landing-sunday-night/


It's nice seeing SpaceX land a Falcon 9 first stage at Vandenberg AFB in California, especially considering they wanted to attempt this before but couldn't. A separate landing pad had to be constructed in order for this to happen. SpaceX recently had FAA approval for landings at Vandenberg AFB. The landing and launch pad are only 1400 feet apart, thus increasing the risk and potential damage that could occur if there were a failed landing attempt. 

Previous Pacific/west coast landing attempts have been on a barge. Wired explains why this attempt is beneficial and possibly crucial to SpaceX:

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A successful landing will be a huge win for SpaceX, as the company won’t have to rely solely on its drone ship when recovering boosters shot from its West Coast facilities. Without having to dispatch recovery vessels to retrieve them, the boosters can be pressed back into service more quickly. Further, salt water can be corrosive, requiring more time for inspections and possible refurbishments. The flip side is that returning to land demands more fuel than touching down on the drone ship. The type of landing SpaceX pursues is largely dependent on the payload and how much fuel is left after launch.

https://www.wired.com/story/spacex-plans-to-land-its-first-rocket-on-california-soil/

I'm personally excited to see SpaceX successfully land here on the west coast. Its close proximity to SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA should result in quicker turnaround times to launch. 

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India is doing it cheaper!

India's been doing it longer!

But there are other players out there too.

The cool thing is with SpaceX they are employing Americans!

 

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cool, If I only lived in social right now to go and watch it.

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I watched it live, super cool!

Currently have an Asus TUF 3080 with a Ryzen 5 3600.

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I was able to personally see it happen. Here are some not-so-great photos off my phone. 

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15 hours ago, ionbasa said:

 


I'm personally excited to see SpaceX successfully land here on the west coast. Its close proximity to SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA should result in quicker turnaround times to launch. 

The west coast launches are not about turnaround times, they're about orbits.  For high inclination orbits (wi-fi, surveillance) you want to launch from Vandenberg; for low inclination orbits (communications, weather) you want to launch from the Cape.

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On 10/8/2018 at 1:43 PM, Canada EH said:

India is doing it cheaper!

India's been doing it longer!

But there are other players out there too.

The cool thing is with SpaceX they are employing Americans!

Okay...

 

1. When did India land any 1st stages back in a usable condition/if at all? 

2. When was India a 'private organisation'?

3. China's been doing rockets longer then anyone, don't mean shit.

4. Care to prove they are doing it cheaper?

 

 

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On 10/7/2018 at 11:43 PM, Canada EH said:

India is doing it cheaper!

India's been doing it longer!

But there are other players out there too.

The cool thing is with SpaceX they are employing Americans!

 

Do you have a source for this?
 

The only thing I could find that compares most of the major launch systems only included the Indian GSLV. The launch price is cheaper overall ($47m USD vs Falcon 9 Reusable at $62m USD), but it also carries SIGNIFICANTLY lower payload, so the cost per kg into orbit is actually way worse:

 

Basically every single current SpaceX launch system is way more economical per kg, even considering both LEO and GTO orbits.

 

So the only benefit to GSLV is if you have a tiny payload, and don't want to launch anything else into orbit, or don't want to share the launch with other goods.

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I was wondering what that light in the sky was...and the my FB feed was flooded with photos from my friends! Should've gotten a good photo myself, but plenty of those to go around on the internet lol

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The real news is that we're able to talk about this news without Elon Musk absorbing all the attention with his vortex of stupidity...well for now anyway he might be requesting someone to hold his beer while he gets on Twitter again.

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When will the second space race start?

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On 10/8/2018 at 5:43 AM, Canada EH said:

India is doing it cheaper!

India's been doing it longer!

India has been landing large rockets after use?

Don't ask to ask, just ask... please 🤨

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Just a list of my personal scores for some products, in no particular order, with brief comments. I just got the idea to do them so they aren't many for now :)

Don't take these as complete reviews or final truths - they are just my personal impressions on products I may or may not have used, summed up in a couple of sentences and a rough score. All scores take into account the unit's price and time of release, heavily so, therefore don't expect absolute performance to be reflected here.

 

-Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - [8/10]

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A durable and reliable machine that is relatively lightweight, has all the hardware it needs to never feel sluggish and has a great IPS matte screen. Downsides are mostly due to its age, most notably the screen resolution of 1366x768 and usb 2.0 ports.

 

-Apple Macbook (2015) - [Garbage -/10]

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From my perspective, this product has no redeeming factors given its price and the competition. It is underpowered, overpriced, impractical due to its single port and is made redundant even by Apple's own iPad pro line.

 

-OnePlus X - [7/10]

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A good phone for the price. It does everything I (and most people) need without being sluggish and has no particularly bad flaws. The lack of recent software updates and relatively barebones feature kit (most notably the lack of 5GHz wifi, biometric sensors and backlight for the capacitive buttons) prevent it from being exceptional.

 

-Microsoft Surface Book 2 - [Garbage - -/10]

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Overpriced and rushed, offers nothing notable compared to the competition, doesn't come with an adequate charger despite the premium price. Worse than the Macbook for not even offering the small plus sides of having macOS. Buy a Razer Blade if you want high performance in a (relatively) light package.

 

-Intel Core i7 2600/k - [9/10]

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Quite possibly Intel's best product launch ever. It had all the bleeding edge features of the time, it came with a very significant performance improvement over its predecessor and it had a soldered heatspreader, allowing for efficient cooling and great overclocking. Even the "locked" version could be overclocked through the multiplier within (quite reasonable) limits.

 

-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]

Spoiler

A pretty good product, sunk by its price (plus the extra cost of the physical keyboard and the pencil). Buy it if you don't mind the Apple tax and are looking for a very light office machine with an excellent digitizer. Particularly good for rich students. Bad for cheap tinkerers like myself.

 

 

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