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Old 02-07-18, 12:03 PM   #11
Buck Henry
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So, is the car still attached to the rocket? And how did they expose the car to space like that?

PS: and I can see some future sci-fi movie having a scene where a space ship is traveling through the solar system and comes upon a red roadster cruising happily along with Mr. Starman at the wheel. A collective What the ****! is heard from everyone on the bridge.
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Old 02-07-18, 12:10 PM   #12
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in the 70's we shot rockets into space that were capable of extreme precision. Musk launches a rocket into space that misses its intended orbit completely and we are supposed to be amazed! All of this with 100x more computational power and 40+ years worth of engineering advancements.

Bringing a booster back is cool, but most engineers will tell you, it's not really practical. yeah, you get to reuse the stages, but the extra fuel required to land them decreases the payload to the point where its returns don't justify the risk inherent on each launch (remember only 2 of 3 boosters came back this time). This is a classic case of a solution looking for a problem.

Musk is a modern PT Barnum. His companies rely on spectacle, but when you drill down past the surface, you see the myriad of flaws. You think there is a correlation between this launch and Tesla earnings coming out today? Those earnings will be absolutely terrible, but hey look, a rocket!
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Old 02-07-18, 12:21 PM   #13
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Old 02-07-18, 12:38 PM   #14
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If you want to bash SpaceX then a fair point is that the Falcon Heavy launch was originally planned for 2014. Losing one rocket on the pad and another on its way to orbit slowed down their development plans.

Space is hard.

As for the overshoot...I'm not so sure it was. They wanted to expend all of the fuel in the third burn to reach a minimal heliocentric orbit and exceeded the plan. SpaceX has already demonstrated multiple times that they can deliver precision payload placement.

You'll have to ask Musk about the ROI of reusing boosters. He seems to have a good handle on the math. And here's a BusinessInsider assessment of the GP using various assumptions.

Buck, this is a shot of the car on its mating platform before they closed the farings. So it's still attached to that conical platform but I'm pretty sure the final stage was released after the burn.

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Old 02-07-18, 01:12 PM   #15
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I'm referring to the fact that Musk moved the Tesla earning call up a few weeks. I don't think its a coincidence that it is now a day after the falcon heavy launch.

Yes, space is hard! That's why you should do the math and know precisely how much fuel you have and exactly where you will be when you burn it. I've done all of this math....its hard, but for a team of engineers, it should be child's play. Heck, the apollo 13 crew did it on the fly! No engineer on earth (or mars) would say---"this is going to end up in this orbit unless it does better than we thought it would, then it may overshoot." That's absolute insanity. Would you send a 100 million dollar payload into space after a test like that? This isn't a company in someones garage; you don't get a bunch of do overs. Each launch is extremely expensive, you need to know exactly what will happen.

Musk pretty much never hits his goals, almost always over promises and under delivers, and even out right lies to his customers. You could buy a tesla and pay a few extra grand for "full self driving" a few years ago, and tesla is nowhere close to having full self driving capability. Tesla bailed out Musk and his cousins when they bought solar city for "synergy," but that company is a giant boat anchor, and has been quietly put on the backburner. I'm passionate about this, because a lot of well meaning but ignorant people put their money and faith in Musk, but at best he is a well meaning, but over his head futurist, and at worst a charlatan.
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Old 02-07-18, 02:31 PM   #16
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Well, the dude just sent a red sports car into outer space playing a great David Bowie song, so he gets a hearty two thumbs up from this simple goat herder.

I think one day you will be singing a different tune on the accomplishments of Mr. Musk.
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Old 02-07-18, 02:37 PM   #17
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As for the earnings report, maybe Musk saw an opportunity to make hay while the sun shone and the rocket launched. But if so it was a risk.
  • If they delayed the launch until Wednesday he loses the timing.
  • If the rocket blew up on the pad on Tuesday, Musk has a red face, among other body parts.
  • If someone got hurt or killed trying to hurry the launch...well that's a bad day all around
.
I still think it was a clever move to launch the roadster. SpaceX had no paying client for this first full-up integrated test of the Falcon Heavy (and no one would risk a $100 million payload - or even a $1 million payload - on an untested configuration), so why not launch something that promotes your brand? It certainly has the world buzzing about it, so...mission accomplished!

I don't think he is a charlatan. Is he a futurist? Only history will tell.

And I think critics are are making too much of the new orbit. SpaceX wasn't trying to hit a precise orbit with a precise goal, such as docking with the ISS. They were simply pushing a new configuration to its fuel limits.

All that said, Musk needs to have someone poking him in the side when he starts to make predictions. He is often waaayyy too optimistic. But, he's the billionaire with several big companies, not me.
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Old 02-07-18, 04:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Henry View Post
Well, the dude just sent a red sports car into outer space playing a great David Bowie song, so he gets a hearty two thumbs up from this simple goat herder.

I think one day you will be singing a different tune on the accomplishments of Mr. Musk.
I did really well shorting solar city (would have done better if it was allowed to keep free falling, but I won't complain), and plan on doing really well shorting Tesla via puts. We'll check back in a couple of years and see who is right

Perhaps we will get to see the ultimate jumping of the shark when a tanking Tesla is bought by space x for "synergy" and the whole thing is funded by "green" flame thrower sales http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/01/tech...out/index.html .
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Old 02-07-18, 04:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trout8myfly View Post

And I think critics are are making too much of the new orbit. SpaceX wasn't trying to hit a precise orbit with a precise goal, such as docking with the ISS. They were simply pushing a new configuration to its fuel limits.

All that said, Musk needs to have someone poking him in the side when he starts to make predictions. He is often waaayyy too optimistic. But, he's the billionaire with several big companies, not me.
That's kind of my point. If you don't know exactly what the limits of the new fuel configuration are, you have no business launching rockets. As you said, space is hard, and trial and error is a terrible way to operate a space transportation company.
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Old 02-07-18, 11:57 PM   #20
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I thought this guy was in the cologne business....
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