• Michael Vaicaitis

    Interesting to note that upon touchdown it does a “little” bounce to the left. Presumably it’s the last of the lateral velocity from the angled approach, or, is it to do with the motion of the deck?.

    Also, it didn’t land right in the centre….I think we should demand that they do it again.

  • dave the confused

    has there been any congratulations from beardy lightyear or is that not in his remit

  • Aerospike

    I think that boucne was probably a combination of remaining lateral velocity AND the motion of the deck.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    from post launch news conference via twitter:
    “Musk: want to later try to recover the payload fairing of the Falcon, that could save several million.”
    Sounds like a good thing to do. I’m thinking inflatable decelerator, parachute and mid-air capture by helicopter.

  • Christopher James Huff

    Apparently it was quite windy, and a late gust of wind required correction without enough time left to zero out the horizontal velocity. Another reason to keep the landing burn short…imagine if it’d been hovering to keep the watching humans comfortable.

  • therealdmt

    Easy peasy, lemon squeezey! Or at least it looked that way!

  • Malatrope

    Look at the sea state. It is at least a 30 knot wind. Look at the direction the smoke flies. It is the same direction as the skitter. If it’s gusty (variable) you won’t be able to correct for it once you are in the position of keeping things vertical.

  • Paul451

    I’m thinking inflatable decelerator, parachute and mid-air capture by helicopter.

    How would that save several million?

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    Yes, in my haste I hadn’t thought of the wind. Also, in the post launch press conference, Musk explained that the approach angle was due to the rocket leaning into the wind.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Again, a historic moment, the first rocket to land on a vessel at sea. Congratulations to SpaceX, it is moving spaceflight forward.

  • Terry Rawnsley

    A tip of the hat to the engineers. As one who is not particularly mathematically inclined, I marvel at their ability to take a partially empty rocket body, cancel its momentum, reverse its course and guide it automatically to a postage-stamp sized spot on the ocean. Once there, running on little more than fumes, the booster soft lands on a barge. Kudos to the engineers and the precision of the mathematics they employ.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    …well ULA think it a good plan for recovering bits that fall off their rocket.
    Seriously though, I wonder what SpaceX has in mind for fairing recovery.

  • ReSpaceAge

    In the interview, Musk doesn’t seem to interested in the falcan Heavy. He seems to imply that it is to complex to be practical.

  • Christopher James Huff

    A fairing is a big object with awkward aerodynamics to have dangling beneath a helicopter, and you’d need two helicopters pulling off precision maneuvers for every flight. My bet is they are going for a parachute splashdown and boat recovery. Not much in the way of complex machinery to be damaged by saltwater, and the expensive part is probably the composite hull.

  • Zed_WEASEL

    It is an attempt to sandbagged the Huntsville Senator. Whose pet project is a competitor with the Falcon Heavy. Especially if SpaceX upgrade the Falcon Heavy with a Raptor upper stage.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    You’re probably right, although what about thermal protection for re-entry.
    As for my suggestion, I was just taking the piss out of ULA’s engine recovery plan.

  • Christopher James Huff

    They’re low mass for their drag and are dropped early in the second stage burn. At least one took a GoPro camera back to the surface safely. I doubt the descent is as stressful as the ascent through max Q. I suspect the difficult parts are surviving impact with the water, and location/recovery by boat.

  • ReSpaceAge

    I am at port Canaveral now to take pictures of the rocket on the barge, I will view it coming into the harbor from Jerry park point, then I will take pictures of it from across the harbor as they load it on the truck.

    Historic stuff in my opinion.

  • windbourne

    wow. You do it standing on your head as well.
    That is impressive.