Truly amazing. History is made today. This is huge. A milestone in space flight. The cost of getting to space dropped to 1/3 today because the firsr stage is 2/3rds the cost of the rocket so when you get that back then you can fly it again.

I sure wouldn’t want to be a SpaceX competitor today. Big step in the long process of colonizing Mars. This is going to be the new norm. Soon the new Dragon capsule will also be landing propulsively and eventually the second stage is supposed to return as well.

The only thing that would have made it better is if it were daytime to get a better view of the landing. You can skip the first 10 minutes of the video. Skip to 30 minutes in to get to the good parts.

Here’s just the first stange landing!

My Letter to the Editor:

I want to congratulate Elon Musk and SpaceX for making history today by landing the first stage of a rocket back on Earth (in one piece this time) after deploying a payload into space. This is an historic event because the cost of getting stuff into space just got at least 3 times cheaper.

In a world where news is dominated by ISIS, mass shootings, and Donald Trump it’s time the smart people get the spotlight and we have good news to report. This event is another milestone representing the progress of humanity on a road that will eventually lead to the human colonization of the planet Mars. All of humanity rejoices tonight at this great accomplishment. Thank you Elon and the team at SpaceX.

Another landing video from helicopter.

In the reusable rocket race Elon is ahead of Bezos but he’s not there yet. You have to fly and land a booster twice to be there so the finish line has not yet been crossed.


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  1. Bottoms Up says:

    What a shot-glass touchdown!

    Bartender, refill please. Make it a double!

  2. Ah_Yea says:

    The heat is on! The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      Now can we get Felon Musk to repay the $100 million he stole from California taxpayers?

  3. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    In a vacuum, I guess this sounds good….. but the downside is now you got a used rocket. I don’t know the tech but my impression is that a rocket motor is more complex and breakable than is a standard jet engine built for reliability and multiple starts and stops.

    If it actually works…………great.

    Boys and their toys. Reminds me of the story about Indians not using the wheel. Some think they knew about the technology, but just preferred running around.

    Rockets to space. Seems kinda antiquated and too expensive just to start with. A colony on Mars?===>Please!!

    • Hmeyers says:

      It might be cheaper to build a new one …

      … than to trust the “used one” and a $500 million satellite blows up on the launch.

      And I don’t think an insurance company is going to say “Sure, save $15-$30 million” and if it explodes we’ll cover the $500 million just the same.

      I don’t see the used one saving very much — not when the price of the cargo is so high.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        Thanks HM.

        Another offsetting cost might be the extra fuel that is required to be launched/carried to altitude before coming back for a landing. In all cases, that is going to mean a smaller payload into space.

        Pros and Cons to all we do. I do kinda have to think there is some math behind the statement that a reusable first stage will save 33% of a standard launch…… but I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers got fiddled for whatever some end goal is?

        Good be done totally innocently too. Elon does strike me as wanting to do good for the right reasons. That doesn’t eliminate bias though.

        Ha. ha. You know what would be cool? Elon at the HEIGHT of battery technology and usage could do an about face and proclaim: battery tech isn’t where it needs to be right now—-so I’m switching to compressed air. I’ll get back into batteries when the tech advances to be a better solution than compresses air. or hydrogen??

        Pros and Cons.

        • Hmeyers says:

          “I do kinda have to think there is some math behind the statement”

          Uh, it’s Elon Musk.

          Think Donald Trump, Zuckerberg, .

          There is no math or intellectual thought behind the number except for a 3 stage rocket they figured the average yutz would think “1/3 savings!” was simple sales pitch.

        • Hmeyers says:

          Another way to think of it:

          Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and Linux Torvalds fans tended to be “high brow”. Sophisticated, deep thinkers, nerds, people who think and want it proved.

          Elon Musk’s claim to fame was Paypal — selling an easy payment method idea to the average dumbass.

          Elon Musk is intelligent and has great ideas, but has the media ethics of a toad.

          There is nothing Elon or any of his people will ever say that isn’t crass manipulation, it’s like the old frog/scorpion fable, it just isn’t in Elon’s nature to “give you the ‘straight-up'”.

          You are being the kind of fool he wants by merely considering the steaming pile of number they pumped out even as ‘possibly legitimate’.

          short version: he’s P.T. Barnum, but doing worthy things, but he thinks you are an idiot.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Gee Whiz HM—did Elon date your sister…or what?


            …………..but I jest.

            I agree nothing anyone does in one field provides authority for any other expertise…. but I do admire/like Elon’s providing his proprietary innovations in cars/batteries to the rest of the industry. Even if he didn’t do it, still a nice idea.

          • Hmeyers says:

            If were a billionaire, I would prefer my fans to be smart.

            Bill Gates and Steve Jobs never insulted your intelligence.

            I consider Elon Musk, while smart and with worthy goals, to be low-brow.

            I have a hardish time trying to respect someone who would have dumbasses as their target market fanbase.

            The Elon “fan” is *never* someone educated, it is always someone who wishes they were.

            I just can’t get down with someone who wants pretenders and wannabees as their fan base.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Heh..heh. Say HM==consider the very characteristics that comprise a know nothing fan base also creates an anti-fan base.

            I suspect that Elon is doing anything for a fan base of any kind. He is simply doing what interests HIMSELF. Fan bases pro and cons form and dissolve by other unconnected phenomenon.

            “If you have money….. what do you care about other people?” Neh?

          • NewFormatSux says:

            No, Elon is all about cultivating the fanbase into a religious fervor. He’s got them applauding merely by saying ‘gigafactory’.

        • ± says:

          Hmeyers and bobbo. Two people who aren’t capable of understanding the subject technology (that’s OK), and use that failing as a way to predict its failure (not OK).

          • Hmeyers says:

            If there is a different angle than cost, then just say what it is.

            Clearly, if there some other important factor I am not taking into account, I do not know what it is.

        • NewFormatSux says:

          Actually, I think Perkel is claiming savings of 67%(though what he wrote is 300%!)

    • Hmeyers says:

      “Reminds me of the story about Indians not using the wheel”

      Native Americans didn’t have horses because the Americas didn’t have any. Until Spanish horses escaped in the 1540s.

      Maybe if they had domesticated the buffalo they would have had a use for the wheel.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      Remember, don’t give us your impressions of things you don’t know.

  4. Mr Diesel says:

    Meh, while a great accomplishment, Bezos already landed one.

    If Musk wants to impress me put people on Mars either one-way or roundtrip.

    Elon also needs to build an engine like the new EM drive that would work with carrying tons of chemicals to travel long distances.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      Let’s volunteer Perkel for the first attempt. It’ll be roundtrip, but then something will happen and there will be extended delays for the return portion. He can blog about how great it is, until after awhile he will declare that the team let Elon down.

  5. Hmeyers says:

    I’m not sure reusing parts saves cost.

    Otherwise the space shuttle wouldn’t have been de-commissioned.

    This might be a myth pushed out by Elon’s media handlers.

    • Ah_Yea says:

      One would hope someone ran the numbers to verify reusing the booster would save money.

      I believe someone did, or why try at all? Do we really believe billionaires and the government would miss this “little detail”?

      The space shuttle had reusable boosters (if they didn’t blow up), and the shuttle itself was reusable until it was too old to be considered safe (whatever that means).

      • NewFormatSux says:

        Governments push recycling despite the high cost.

      • Hmeyers says:

        The space shuttle was a financial fiasco, even though it was reusable.

        Each launch cost about 3.5 times as much as a rocket launch per pound, like what the Russians do.

        And with the space shuttle, people died.

        The Russians haven’t had an astronaut die during launch or re-entry (or any other reason) since 1971.

        • Ah_Yea says:

          All true, every word.

          The shuttle was, after all, 1970’s technology being run by bureaucrats hell bent on sucking the government teat dry. Which they did very well.

          Of course, over the span of 40+ years a few things have been learned, improvements made, and more cost efficient processes and management implemented.

          After all, the billionaires funding these projects want to make billions, not loose billions.

        • spsffan says:

          No. In Soviet Union, we kill on purpose, not by accident.

  6. B. Dog says:

    No. Actually, it was cooler at night. Did you like the yellow plumes of fire coming from the rocket? Me too. After it landed, it was great to have floodlights already in place for our viewing pleasure. It was almost like they knew a rocket would land right there.

    I never saw an event happen live on youTube before. It was weird how they had the timeline at the bottom of the video already annotated as if they knew what would happen when.

    Go Earthlings!

    Hey, here’s the real deal. Check it out:

  7. Hmeyers says:

    ” SpaceX’s ‘reusable’ Falcon 9 rocket won’t fly again, Elon Musk says”

    ‘A small step toward reusability, not a leap’ —

      • noname says:

        Not surprising and also very smart!

        In addition to the publically announced static full throttle engine firing/testing, SpaceX will eventually likely dismantle and inspect each part carefully looking for parts fatigue, micro-cracks in the material with x-rays, ultrasound inspections, … .

        Only after doing many post flight inspections can SpaceX safely really know; predict how parts hold up and wear flight after flight. If not for a complete and thorough inspection SpaceX may end up unwittingly using fatally fatigued material.

        I suspect for improved safety margin on any manned mission they will only use NEW rockets?

        • NewFormatSux says:

          Considering they’ve already blown up many of them, all hyped by Perkel, they could just relaunch it and see what happens.

          • noname says:

            You’re right; if you were smart and rich with a market-winning product that makes people envious you could do whatever you wanted.

            However, it’s very unlikely Musk will take your advice and “just relaunch it and see what happens.”

            In time, the market will show what he and his competition does.

  8. noname says:

    We should give thanks to Marc Perkel for the unusual posting a non-self-aggrandizing technically oriented topic in a “technology” blog.

    Thank you. Happy Holidays or a nice ChriFSMas Pirate Meatball Day.

  9. Duh says:

    So how many times do you need to be told that DU is not a technology blog?

    • noname says:

      Maybe because I never seen Dvorak do a ”DU, the untech blog” commercial or add a subtitle directly below the blog title!

      DU is a rotating panel of “cranky” tech gurus or maybe they are indeed not tech gurus?

      Without subtitles, it’s virtually impossible to know how DU persona randomly morphs day to day.

  10. The Monster's Lawyer says:

    Bobbo, OhYeah, Pedro, NoName, Hmeyers, Mr. Diesel, Alfie and all the rest of you guys,

    Merry Christmas!

    • Mr Diesel says:


      Back at you TML.

    • noname says:

      Drat and I thought I was your first favorite and bestist. 🙁

      A Joyous and Merry Christmas & Happy New Year ML, et al. 🙂

      Are we waiting till 2016 for our next food fight?

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        I assume I was named first as the one most often needing his services….. and the most damned for never signing up?

        Lawyers are touchy like that, Monsters too.

        ………..and a Good Next Year as well ML and to all. I miss your tart contributions here. Find something better to do?

    • Hmeyers says:

      Merry Christmas!

  11. Ah_Yea says:

    And a Merry Christmas to all of you!

  12. Kishor says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. NewFormatSux says:

    By the end of the day, Trump supporters and anyone else who takes his campaign seriously will be exposed as dummies, according to Perkel.

    • noname says:

      Do not dare to blaspheme the name of Perkel!

      Perkel is a techno deity, disciple of FSM, founder of the Church of Reality, Elon Musk brown nosers and much more!

      He shows us the way to truth, light and understands reality more than others. He invents his own church and preaches to the unwashed masses in Silicon Valley and beyond on youtube.

      All bow before the mighty all-knowing Perkel…

  14. There is no HELL when you're already IN IT! says:

    I DON’T CARE!!!

    … With all the worlds problems, all the suffering people are forced to endure and with our very environment poised to kill off all (or most) life on planet earth, THIS is what you do with your money? PLAY BUCK ROGERS?!!!

    FUCK ELON MUSK AND EVERY OTHER RICH BASTARD WHO IS SO CLOSED TO “REALITY” OR SO CONCEITED THAT THEY DO SHIT LIKE THIS RATHER THAN DO SOMETHING “GOOD”!!! This is sheer unbridled penis envy. And I think you know where you can stick that penis too!

    • noname says:

      Wow, tell us how you really feel…

      Have to ask, what have you done to alleviate the “world’s problems” other than complain about your perceived penis envy?

      Most people could care less about your feelings and more interested in what positive actions you have taken?

  15. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Elon says the Rocket is as good as new and could be launched again….. but won’t be. A marketing triumph for sure.


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