Tag Archives: spacex

SpaceX: There’s a Starman Waiting in the Sky

Yes­ter­day was the maid­en voy­age of the Fal­con Heavy and true to its nature, SpaceX didn’t dis­ap­point. Whether we’re look­ing at the tech­ni­cal exe­cu­tion of land­ing two boost­ers ver­ti­cal­ly after flight at the same time on tan­dem pads (we’ll ignore that pesky cen­tral core), or the inspi­ra­tion of real-life ‘Star­man’ enter­ing orbit to the tune of David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars,’ there’s a lot to be excit­ed about.

What made this launch so mem­o­rable was the gut­sy aspi­ra­tion, the heart, the because-we-can’ ethos. Why launch a bor­ing reg­u­lar test pay­load when instead, they can test a new space suit and do it in one of the most endear­ing ways pos­si­ble? That cre­ativ­i­ty is a tal­ent in its own right. It doesn’t mere­ly make news, it cap­tures the love and imag­i­na­tion of gen­er­a­tions and reminds us exact­ly why space trav­el is fuck­ing awe­some.

And yes, there are times when we need exact­ly this kind of boot to the head to wake us from our earth­bound prob­lems and inspire us to dream of what humankind can accom­plish next — among the stars.

Keep being awe­some, SpaceX.

As for the tech­ni­cal side of things, the drone ship video feed was lost after the cen­tral core boost­er hit the ocean at 300 miles per hour, about 300 feet (100 meters) from the drone ship. The rock­et was able to restart only one of its three engines dur­ing re-entry before it ran out of the TEA-TEB com­pound required to ignite the fuel mix­ture.

Elon Musk’s com­men­tary and atti­tude on this are inter­est­ing: in a world where many CEOs tend not to engage active­ly with the pub­lic, he bucks the trend by being casu­al and upfront, often dis­cussing a lot of the learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, suc­cess­es, and fail­ures his com­pa­ny has had over the years.

And yes, there have been some spec­tac­u­lar fire­works at past launch­es and land­ings.