A few days ago Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully landed a rocket booster after it had lifted a payload into space. Hmm, yawn. Sure, neat - I suppose. Here's what really happened.
So this is what SpaceX did: They took a 12 story rocket weighing 20,000 kilograms moving at 6000 kph, slowed it, stopped it, turned it around, let it fall nearly 200 km to the ground, reignited the engines, had it follow a descent path, automatically correcting its orientation and attitude, until it landed within a few meters of the pre-chosen spot.
This is what the final seconds of that looked like:
That little orange thing slightly to the left of the booster in the bottom photo? That's a man. Think he wasn't impressed?
Very cool, eh? I watched the video several times. It's right out of Tom Swift!
Cool it is. I see much to admire in Elon Musk's vision and determination.
I know I was very impressed the very first time I heard this was done, being someone hardcore into SF since early childhood I got the significance of this right off! Musk is certainly putting his money where his mouth is and really showing that at least some of the wealthy are looking beyond their own short term narrow interests. Nice to see.
R is for Rocket, S is for Space, E is for Eldon who can see both places
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