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Anomaly Triggers Self-Destruct For SpaceX Falcon 9 Test Flight

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the fly-up-go-boom dept.

Transportation 113

SpaceMika (867804) writes "A SpaceX test flight at the McGregor test facility ended explosively on Friday afternoon. A test flight of a three-engine Falcon 9 Dev1 reusable rocket ended in a rapid unscheduled disassembly after an unspecified anomaly triggered the Flight Termination System, destroying the rocket. No injuries were reported." Update: 08/23 13:33 GMT by T : Space.com has video.

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So it works then? (3, Interesting)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#47735757)

Good on them for making the self-destruct such a high priority!

Re:So it works then? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47735797)

Actually, yes, I'd consider that a major display of responsibility. The very last thing I'd want a rocket to do when it goes out of control is to choose its own place to go kaboom. And yes, even for a manned rocket.

Exactly! (4, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#47735849)

This really moves SpaceX up in my estimation as well. Until now, I pictured private space flight as focusing only on making profits, not sacrificing dollars in order to protect people around them. Maybe the privatization of space flight has a future after all!

Re:Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47735911)

It's still about profits, how big a dent if profits would they take if one of their rockets went down on someone's house, or killed someone. First there would be the lawsuits, then they would be shut down while there was an investigation, then there's all the bad publicity, if they wanted to build a new launch facility anywhere they would face huge opposition. Self destructing one lil rocket is cheap compared to that.

Re:Exactly! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47735985)

This really moves SpaceX up in my estimation as well. Until now, I pictured private space flight as focusing only on making profits, not sacrificing dollars in order to protect people around them. Maybe the privatization of space flight has a future after all!

Uhhh, yeah, let me know how well the PR monkey handles explaining to the general public that your loved ones aboard their dream vacation to space were blown up on purpose as a safety measure.

Good luck with that shit.

Re:Exactly! (5, Informative)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 4 months ago | (#47736047)

This really moves SpaceX up in my estimation as well. Until now, I pictured private space flight as focusing only on making profits, not sacrificing dollars in order to protect people around them. Maybe the privatization of space flight has a future after all!

Uhhh, yeah, let me know how well the PR monkey handles explaining to the general public that your loved ones aboard their dream vacation to space were blown up on purpose as a safety measure.

Good luck with that shit.

Manned capsules must have an emergency escape system.

Basically what would happen is explosive bolts would detach the capsule from the rocket and the capsule would fly away under its own power until it's far enough away from the rocket. Then the rocket would self destruct and the capsule would come down to a safe-ish landing either under parachutes or under its own power.

This is nothing new, NASA had this in the 1960's, the Russians [youtube.com] evidently had it in the 1980's. Also the Kerbals, apparently.

Re:Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736101)

Good luck surviving ejection during launch. A few challengers come to mind, though.

Re:Exactly! (2)

durrr (1316311) | about 4 months ago | (#47736193)

Why would you need luck to survive the escape vehicle separation? It's obviously designed to accelerate at sublethal G forces.
Regarding the challenger disaster: it had no escape possibilities AND the crew telemetry from the challenger showed them as alive until the remnant they were seated in hit the sea.

Re:Exactly! (3, Interesting)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 4 months ago | (#47736291)

Specifically, the space shuttle didn't have a launch escape system. Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Vostok, Shenzhou and Soyuz all do/did, though Vostok and Gemini used ejection seats for the purpose instead of taking the whole capsule. The shuttle test flights had ejection seats, but those were removed when normal operations started. After Challenger a method to escape the shuttle was added: get into a controlled glide, get to the rear hatch, jump out, and parachute to safety...

Re:Exactly! (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 4 months ago | (#47737513)

Not the rear hatch, the hatch. There's just the one on the left side at mid-deck, isn't there? The only other hatch leads to the cargo bay, which you wouldn't want to open in the air.

Re:Exactly! (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | about 4 months ago | (#47737841)

Specifically, the space shuttle didn't have a launch escape system.

supposably the Shuttle was meant to be reasonably safe that an escape system is not needed, unfortunately it was not as safe as commercial airliners. Airliners from the 707 to the 380 don't have escape systems, they were designed to safe enough. Of course if the airplane is not that safe, re-design it so it will be. There have been crashes as nothing is absolutely safe. Like ejection seats were never considered for airliners, if you survive the punchout, will you survive the environment which you parachute into? i.e. frigid Atlantic ocean, barren hot desert, etc.

AC said, "from a documentary I saw on PBS, is that the escape mechanisms are largely an afterthought meant to soothe the public and legislatures." I don't think so. Escape systems were part of the design (in 1950s, ejection seats to tractor rockets to escape towers were all being considered. Though astronauts and cosmonauts are national heros, they in 1960s were military pilots on flights like test aircraft with ejection seats.

Re:Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47737345)

My understanding, from a documentary I saw on PBS, is that the escape mechanisms are largely an afterthought meant to soothe the public and legislatures. The systems have probably improved, but what NASA had in the 60's was mostly a facade.

Re:Exactly! (1, Troll)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 months ago | (#47737615)

The Gemini ejection seats improved the odds of survival, but about the only thing more risky than using them during a launch incident was not using them. Apollo launch escape was tested on real rocket launches (though not Saturns) and should have worked fine.

Re:Exactly! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736303)

Nice pun asshole. Challenger had no ejection system. NASA considered in infeasible to provide ejection capability for 7 people. The commander and pilot could have had an ejection seat system, but the idea of having two crew members escape while the other 5 are left to die was (rightly) unpalatable.

Re:Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47738303)

Nice pun asshole. Challenger had no ejection system. NASA considered in infeasible to provide ejection capability for 7 people. The commander and pilot could have had an ejection seat system, but the idea of having two crew members escape while the other 5 are left to die was (rightly) unpalatable.

Did anyone ask the commander and pilot about that?

Re:Exactly! (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 months ago | (#47738471)

Did anyone ask the commander and pilot about that?

Yes. They were the ones who asked for the seats to be disabled, when they began flying crews of more than two... they didn't like the idea of ejecting and leaving the rest of the crew behind, either.

Re:Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47739663)

Kind of bad if the pilot and commander punch out. the rest are positivly f'ed without a pilot! What would think if you are on an A380 and a pilot left the aircraft via an ejection seat? I can imagine the announcment: Ladies and gentalmen I regret to inform you that we have had a small malfuncrtion and for the safty of me and my co-pilot we will eject now, enjoy the last few seconds of you life as you plummet to the ground!

Re:Exactly! (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 4 months ago | (#47739277)

Nice pun asshole. Challenger had no ejection system. NASA considered in infeasible to provide ejection capability for 7 people. The commander and pilot could have had an ejection seat system, but the idea of having two crew members escape while the other 5 are left to die was (rightly) unpalatable.

Because Having 7 die was so much better as proven when Columbia exploded on return. NASA was greedy and lazy.

Re:Exactly! (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 months ago | (#47737241)

The only actual, real use of a launch escape system worked fine, other than the cosmonauts having to hide from wolves while they waited to be picked up.

Re:Exactly! (2)

James P Lynch (2930801) | about 4 months ago | (#47739327)

The Russian Soyuz T-10A mission to the Salyut space station in September 1983 did have a launch pad explosion and the tractor escape system (emergency pull-away rockets on a tower above the Soyuz spacecraft) ignited 2 seconds before the explosion and pulled the spacecraft 2000 meters above the explosion and permitted a safe landing 4 kilometers away. Cosmonauts Titov and Strekalov were unhurt and required no medical attention (Wikipedia). So far, this type of thing has never been used while the rocket's first stage is actually flying. Boeing is offering a similar tractor rocket escape system on their commercial offering while SpaceX is planning to use the on board Super-Drako engines for this purpose. Good to know that our astronauts will have these systems available!

Re:Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47739717)

Boeing is offering a similar tractor rocket escape system on their commercial offering

I think Boeing's CST-100 capsule is meant to use a pusher escape system, same as Dragon-crew. Only Orion will use the older style tractor tower. Interestingly, it means the Orion escape tower weighs almost as much as the entire capsule, and it's still expected to be non-survivable when parachuting back down through the plume of burning debris from the SRBs.

Re:Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47738445)

Uhhh, yeah, let me know how well the PR monkey handles explaining to the general public that your loved ones aboard their dream vacation to space were blown up on purpose as a safety measure.

Good luck with that shit.

I like your smart ass reply ;)

unfortunately it's 100% completely wrong. Even the Orbiter (Space shuttle) had a self destruct sequence on it.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/nasa/4262479

Re:Exactly! (5, Informative)

v1 (525388) | about 4 months ago | (#47736067)

Look at the top of any manned rocket. see that "mini rocket" looking thing strapped to the top? that's an "escape tower". It IS a mini rocket. if there's a catastrophic faulure on a rocket massive enough to go to the moon, you REALLY don't want it hitting dirt before it explodes. The cabin module separates from the top with explosive bolts, and the escape tower pulls them a distance away from the main rocket and after awhile a parachute goes off.

Probaby still a heck of a close call though, being so close to the rocket when it blows up. But you still have a chance.

Re:Exactly! (2)

AikonMGB (1013995) | about 4 months ago | (#47736289)

Just pointing out that SpaceX's manned Dragon capsule won't have an escape tower; the launch escape system is a set of eight SuperDraco [spaceflight101.com] thrusters, which will also be used for soft ground landing after normal flights.

Re:Exactly! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736331)

Anything manned that is built by SpaceX will need to have a Range Safety System just like NASA's own manned vehicles did, and it will be under the control of the Range Safety Officer on duty, not by a computer. To prevent loss of life on the ground it must be possible to terminate even a manned flight, and with a human in the loop there is a reasonable chance it will not be unduly triggered. Manned space flight in the US has had its fair share of problems, but trigger-happy RSOs is not one of them. The only RSS destruct I'm aware of in manned flight was when the RSO for Challenger destroyed the SRBs half a minute after the destruction of the external tank and orbiter.

Re:Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736663)

Those imaginary people had t sign an imaginary form saying they could be blown up for the safety of others. Or it was automatically accepted as a EULA on receipt of their ticket.

Re:Exactly! (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 4 months ago | (#47739247)

This really moves SpaceX up in my estimation as well. Until now, I pictured private space flight as focusing only on making profits, not sacrificing dollars in order to protect people around them. Maybe the privatization of space flight has a future after all!

Uhhh, yeah, let me know how well the PR monkey handles explaining to the general public that your loved ones aboard their dream vacation to space were blown up on purpose as a safety measure.

Good luck with that shit.

Funny thing is that your statement is modded negative 1. So obviously no one will give a flying squirrel.

Re:Exactly! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#47739549)

...

Do you think this wasn't mandated as part of them getting approval to launch in the first place? If so you're pretty naive.

They do have oversight you know, they don't just get to do whatever they want.

Re:Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47739625)

I want to see what their PR department says when they self destruct a manned mission in a few years time

Re: So it works then? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736169)

Is there no end to the Elon Musk worship on this site? Once again, SpaceX does something perfectly normal and ordinary that's been done for decades and the fawning by corporate shills starts immediately.

Re: So it works then? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47736305)

Who is Elon Musk?

To be blunt, I would have expected otherwise from a private enterprise. To keep the rocket flying as long as it possibly can in the vain hope that it may recover, or to at least get more telemetry, and just hope it doesn't destroy too much when it comes back down.

Re: So it works then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736863)

That's why you aren't in this business!

Re: So it works then? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47739775)

You obviously don't know the background. SpaceX has been trying to convince USAF range safety officers at KSC that Falcon doesn't need conventional RSO destruct systems because the control software will shut down the engines in the event of an anomaly.

Re: So it works then? (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | about 4 months ago | (#47736315)

I agree. I am a big fan of Musk and SpaceX but there is no chance in hell that SpaceX would be developing these systems without self-destruct capability. Might as well praise Google for ensuring their self-driving cars have brakes.

Re: So it works then? (2, Funny)

citizenr (871508) | about 4 months ago | (#47736735)

little known fact: Googles self-driving cars also have self destruct mechanism

Re: So it works then? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47737045)

So have cars with human drivers. It's called driving off a cliff.

Re: So it works then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47737277)

Source?

Re: So it works then? (0)

thunderclap (972782) | about 4 months ago | (#47739301)

I agree. I am a big fan of Musk and SpaceX but there is no chance in hell that SpaceX would be developing these systems without self-destruct capability. Might as well praise Google for ensuring their self-driving cars have brakes.

Funny that you would choice that considering Google didn't put them in. http://guardianlv.com/2014/08/... [guardianlv.com]

Google has been developing the world’s first driverless car, though their efforts have been restrained by being forced to add a steering wheel and pedals. Originally, the concept of the car was to be able to drive itself, leaving the person in control of nothing, but a single button to begin their route. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in California has ruled that drivers must have the ability to take control of the vehicle in case the software malfunctions, there is an accident, or an emergency situation presents itself. Dmitri Dolgov, the lead software engineer of this project, admitted that their technology was not perfect, and the cars had the habit of sometimes going over the speed limit. He explained this by stating the driverless cars had the ability to go 10 mph over the speed limit, as opposed to sticking to it to keep up with traffic. Dolgov’s reasoning behind the cars’ ability to exceed the speed limit was to keep up with the traffic, when it is speeding and avoid road rage or cause obstructions in the road.

Deceleration was the braking mechanism Google chose to use.

Re: So it works then? (2)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 4 months ago | (#47737121)

Is there no end to the Elon Musk worship on this site? Once again, SpaceX does something perfectly normal and ordinary that's been done for decades and the fawning by corporate shills starts immediately.

What corporate shills? SpaceX is not publicly traded. They're privately held and self-funding from their own profit. What is said about them on random Internet discussion forums has absolutely no affect on their continuing success or failure. They will have to have a satisfactory explanation for the contracts people who have put down heaps of money to buy launches, but none of those conversations will involve random Internet discussion forums.

We're spectators, having a rather short and noncontroversial discussion about a small explosion in the sky. What are you, that you feel obliged to shit on the subject? A corporate shill perhaps? Employed by a SpaceX competitor?

Probably not. You're just a random Internet misanthrope.

Why, I don't even OWN a TV. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47739813)

but none of those conversations will involve random Internet discussion forums.

Eeeeexcept that Musk himself tweeted about it as soon as word had spread on internet discussion forums that SpaceX had a loss-of-vehicle.

But you keep up that holier-than-thou act, Princess. I'm sure you're convincing someone.

Re:Why, I don't even OWN a TV. (2)

khallow (566160) | about 4 months ago | (#47739891)

Eeeeexcept that Musk himself tweeted about it as soon as word had spread on internet discussion forums that SpaceX had a loss-of-vehicle.

Why that's definitive proof of something or another!

Re:So it works then? (3, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#47735855)

Had this been a NASA test, or maybe a DOD test, it more likely would have been billed as a blatant failure. This article goes a bit out of its way to remind us this 'its a good thing to learn' this way.

Re:So it works then? (3, Insightful)

RoverDaddy (869116) | about 4 months ago | (#47736327)

Totally depends on who's providing the news coverage. Fox news, yes. CNN, maybe. Space.com, not so much.
BREAKING NEWS: Media outlets are biased.

Re:So it works then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736835)

Totally depends on who's providing the news coverage. Fox news, yes. CNN, maybe. Space.com, not so much.

In point of fact, Fox News' coverage is brief and very factual. http://www.foxnews.com/science... [foxnews.com]

Re:So it works then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47739847)

Actually, "we learn from failure" is a pretty standard line from any NASA failures, provided it is a test article and not a final one-off-irreplaceable product.

For example, problems with the Ares 1-X launch were seen as "learning experiences" by NASA/Constellation supporters. Critics weren't saying "Haha you fail because you suck", they were pointing out the much more subtle facts that a) almost none of the systems were similar to the actual Ares I design, therefore almost nothing learned will be transferable, and b) the cost of the test launch, given that the systems used were nearly off-the-shelf, was unacceptable. [Neither of those criticisms can be applied to SpaceX.]

Re:So it works then? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 4 months ago | (#47735871)

Good on them for making the self-destruct such a high priority!

First first of all it's mandatory, otherwise they couldn't fly at all. It actually took them some time to get FAA/UASF approval. And when you have tanks full of LOX/RP-1, it's not exactly like they need C4 to blow it up, a glorified radio controlled lighter spark should do it.

Re:So it works then? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47739701)

its probably harder than you think. you need the LOX and RP-1 to mix first. A spark in the kero tank would do nothing and the LOX tank likley dosen't have anything flabbable in it so a spark might not have too much effect there either

Re:So it works then? (5, Funny)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 4 months ago | (#47735889)

I love that reaction - "they fucked up - but they did it so well!"

At least I don't have to ask what you think of Fukushima. :-)

Re:So it works then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47737215)

Elon Musk wasn't involved in Fukushima, so that's clearly a case of corporate greed, corrupt politicians, and corner-cutting CEO's who didn't give a shit about the safety of the poor innocent children and kittens living near their evil corporate strongholds.

If Elon Musk had been the owner of Fukushima, we'd be reading articles about how the "release of radioactive waste in the ocean really just helps the little fishies evolve faster, so it's a good thing, really. We should be thanking Elon Musk for helping to solve global hunger, by helping us produce 300-ton tuna and crabs the size of Volkswagens!"

Re:So it works then? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47735913)

So all this time we've been calling Elon Musk Ironman, but he's really Heinz Doofenshmirtz.

Re:So it works then? (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about 4 months ago | (#47736673)

This is good to see right now. But if commercial space flight ever became a thing like... say the airline industry (and yes they do have a pretty good track record but it's not amazingly stellar...) than the large companies and number/need of the industry/service would out way and overshadow most peoples individual legal complains.

Most likely people might be compensated by their standard, sorry, we blew up your family, but our rocket was really well insured, package.

So this is how the world ends. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47735765)

Not with a whimper, but a bang.

Nice to see that "rah rah free market!" is just as meaningless as "for mother Russia!" - every advance is just fallible humans fumbling in the almost-dark, tripping over, picking themsleves up and carrying on. Over and over.

Re:So this is how the world ends. (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 4 months ago | (#47735823)

Not with a whimper, but a bang.

Nice to see that "rah rah free market!" is just as meaningless as "for mother Russia!" - every advance is just fallible humans fumbling in the almost-dark, tripping over, picking themsleves up and carrying on. Over and over.

These "rapid unscheduled disassembly" events do not care about free market, or socialized ideology. Kind of has something to do with the massive amount of energy they are trying to barely contain.

Although I think I know where you are going with this - if so, I agree. There are people out there that do seem to think that somehow, privately built rockets are beyond failure, as if the rocket somehow knows what ideology built it.

We should be having private industry building and launching space vehicles - because that is where we are now. But the ideology angle is just as dumb as the old idea that lot's of Olympics medals showed how great the country was who's athletes got them.

Re:So this is how the world ends. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47737269)

If you're gonna try to make yourself sound clever by jocking ts eliot's "The Hollow Men," do a better job of it please.

The actual line is:
"This is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper"

Not "So this is how the world ends, so this is how the world ends, so this is how the world ends..."

Things that make you go BOOM (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 4 months ago | (#47735777)

it's the things that make you go boooom...

robby rob break it down...

Fanboys, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47735779)

Why is every single thing that Space X and Tesla does posted on Slashdot?

Re:Fanboys, (3, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | about 4 months ago | (#47735787)

Because unlike your life they're doing something interesting.

Re:Fanboys, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47735863)

I'm boning your mom, is that interesting enough for you?

Re:Fanboys, (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47735897)

I'm boning your mom, is that interesting enough for you?

It is for me, she's ashes in an urn over my fireplace.

Would you like a damp washcloth?

Re:Fanboys, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47735923)

Typical mamma's boy. Just can't part with her, can you? Just flush her already and move on with your pathetic self.

Re:Fanboys, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47735959)

Once you wash yourself off, that'll all be done for me.

Re:Fanboys, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736399)

Oh, 2edgy4me.

Re:Fanboys, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47735963)

Because Space X is so much better than the folks with half a century of experience that their rockets are perfect and never blow up ... Look at all the other posts where the threads devolve to "SpaceX is perfect and the government is bad for not breaking the law to give them launch contracts."

Re:Fanboys, (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 months ago | (#47737597)

1. It didn't blow up, it was blown up for safety reasons.
2. Other than the common hardware, this is entirely unrelated to actual satellite launches, it's a test system for landing tests. If it shows up a problem with the engines, which are the same, then all the better: they can fix it now instead of fixing it after they lose a payload on a real launch.
3. No-one else has done what SpaceX are doing with a real, operational rocket before. This actually is rocket science (or, at least, rocket engineering).

Re:Fanboys, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47740155)

it didn't blow up, it got blown up ... I see the difference.
Nobody? You sure about that? I'm pretty sure the Russians did it long, long before you were born, on a moon far away.The americans did. Hell, it was even that grumman company you fanboys love to disparage. And they did it with slide rules.

Get off my lawn.

Re:Fanboys, (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 4 months ago | (#47739329)

Why is every single thing that Space X and Tesla does posted on Slashdot?

Because /. IS news for Nerds and Space X & Tesla are involved in nerdy things.

SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (5, Funny)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about 4 months ago | (#47735815)

"rapid unscheduled disassembly"
Talk about an understatement!
George Carlin would have gone mad about that nugget.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (4, Funny)

Doctor Device (890418) | about 4 months ago | (#47735867)

I would have preferred "Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure", myself.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (1)

pezpunk (205653) | about 4 months ago | (#47736805)

apparently the failed to take into account the double reverse reciprocal nature of improbability physics. for shame.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47737747)

Yes, I can see why you'd prefer a SMEF to a RUD. I mean, really, who wouldn't?

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 4 months ago | (#47735945)

Similar to an airline referring to the "involuntary conversion of an asset" when they convert an aircraft into an insurance claim.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736211)

The players of kerbal space program started to use that term a while ago.
Because these events happen to us more often then we like.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (1)

PPH (736903) | about 4 months ago | (#47736573)

disassembly

Implies it can be reassembled again.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 4 months ago | (#47736795)

Implies it can be reassembled again.

Well, all the atoms are still around, so reassembly might require a bit of work, but is definitely possible.

Falcon 9 Dev1 reusable rocket (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 4 months ago | (#47735895)

They'll have to refer to it as a "Falcon 9 Dev1 (hopefully) reusable rocket" now. I like their NASA-like spin too - an "anomaly" caused the mission to be "auto-terminated". Stuff happens when you're trying to control that much energy, they'll get there.

Grasshopper v2 feat. Mythbusters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47735899)

It seems Kerry, Grant and Tory have found a new gig already. And in true Mythbusters fashion they must end it with a bang!

what does auto-termination mean? (1)

someonestolecc (1038714) | about 4 months ago | (#47735919)

I read a post on this somewhere that the mission was auto-terminated. The way the spokeperson said it made it sound as if it things were detected that meant it blew itself up. ... or was this spin?

Re:what does auto-termination mean? (4, Interesting)

robbak (775424) | about 4 months ago | (#47735977)

That's pretty much it. The on-board computers detected that the rockets attitude or location was out of limits, so it triggered some explosive detcord fixed against the fuel and lox tanks, tearing them open, so that the rocket safely disintegrates.

I notice from the video that the destruction is done in a way that doesn't mix the LOX and fuel together - you can see the Cold Lox falling away and the ignited cloud of burning RP1 floating higher. Really nice bit of design I hadn't thought of.

Re:what does auto-termination mean? (2)

HoppQ (29469) | about 4 months ago | (#47736347)

the rockets attitude or location was out of limits

Damn those rockets with out of limits attitude, wearing sunglasses at night, paying no respect to public property, traffic laws or law enforcement in general, just because they're on a mission from NASA!

No, wait...

Re:what does auto-termination mean? (1)

sound+vision (884283) | about 4 months ago | (#47739845)

Looks like someone doesn't know the word "attitude" has a very specific meaning in the field of aeronautics...

That's sort of what I thought, too... (1)

robbak (775424) | about 4 months ago | (#47739975)

But he may have been just making a joke, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Re:what does auto-termination mean? (1)

someonestolecc (1038714) | about 4 months ago | (#47736429)

Sweet - thanks.

Re:what does auto-termination mean? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47737297)

Really nice bit of design I hadn't thought of.

Which explains why you're not a rocket scientist, and instead just comment on the work of those smart enough to do the job here on Slashdot.

Unspecified anomaly? (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#47735991)

Was it a wormholr? A cloaked Romulan ship?

We'd better scan the area thoroughly before sending anything else up.

How good is SpaceX, really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736019)

I mean, if it has the same quality level as the video then it has a looong way to go before it catches up with its counterparts at NASA, ESA and the Russian space agency.

Re:How good is SpaceX, really? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 4 months ago | (#47736581)

The video was captured by an onlooker. Because of the noise, SpaceX has to publish when tests happen, so fans know when to head to one of a couple of areas to watch and record them.

Not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736127)

I've been told that 3D printing is the game changing technology of the future. Just 3D print a whole new rocket (fueled up) and it's OK.

With pinky to my lips (1)

paiute (550198) | about 4 months ago | (#47736257)

"The world will pay me one gazillion dollars or I will unleash a rapid unscheduled disassembly upon the moon!!!!"

Better video (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736259)

There is a better video here [youtube.com] .

Re:Better video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47736307)

Yeah, Space.com "has video" but I'm not sure what it's a video of. It appears to be a shaky vertical letterbox of a puff of smoke and nothing much at all actually happening. It could be a video of a bonfire.

Government Lawsuit? (1)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | about 4 months ago | (#47736479)

SpaceX has been suing the government to be able to bid on launching military satellites. Will this hurt their chances of getting access to that market?

Re:Government Lawsuit? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 4 months ago | (#47736591)

Unlikely. The full Falcon 9 has a good track record so far. Few rocket programs don't have at least one or two explosions along the way (and some have many more).

Good track record?? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47737699)

Are you joking?? Falcon 9 has a 70% mission failure with a 50% of it being catastrophic.

The only place where the Falcon 9 has being successful is in the PR spin coming out of SpaceX. To this day, they haven't had one single trouble free flight and completed 100% of a mission. The best they have managed is (approx) 50% mission completion in one flight.

Re:Good track record?? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 months ago | (#47738481)

Hey, it's the anti-SpaceX nutter! How've you been?

Re:Government Lawsuit? (3, Insightful)

cjameshuff (624879) | about 4 months ago | (#47737443)

This was a modified Falcon 9 first stage with only 3 engines and no second stage, put together as a testbed for developing the landing capabilities. It launches off support blocks on a concrete foundation instead of a full launch pad, does various maneuvers, and lands on bare concrete right next to the launch site.

It wasn't an orbital launch of a standard vehicle, it was a test flight with heavily modified experimental hardware and software operating under rather unusual conditions, so it really shouldn't impact other things like their attempts to compete for military launches...the actual Falcon 9 launches have actually all gone without losing a single vehicle, though there have been some minor failures and one somewhat exciting unplanned demonstration of the engine-out capability. Attempting to hold tests to the same standards as launches would be quite foolish, deterring companies from performing those tests...definitely not the desired outcome.

Both CopSub and Spacex? (1)

GNious (953874) | about 4 months ago | (#47736937)

So that's both CopSub and SpaceX having a boo-boo thing month - coinkidink?

Marketing folks are hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47737743)

A 'rapid unscheduled disassembly'? Really? The damn thing exploded, just say that!

Re:Marketing folks are hilarious (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about 4 months ago | (#47739477)

It's not marketspeak, it's an old rocket scientist joke.

Re:Marketing folks are hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47739767)

It actually didn't explode, the LOX and RP-1 were released in a controlled mannor with a bit of deflagration

Charlton Heston comments (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 4 months ago | (#47739541)

YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! OH, DAMN YOU! GODDAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!

(this text brought to you by the Lameness filter, which wishes to remind you that using too many caps is like yelling)

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