reflections of a pragmatic optimist, lover of freedom

Month: December 2015 (Page 1 of 3)

The Cook and the Chef: Musk’s Secret Sauce

In case you missed it: Be sure to catch the final part of Tim Urban’s aforementioned series on Elon Musk and SpaceX.

(Tim also has a post about December 21st’s SpaceX launch and historic first-stage landing success — which I didn’t realize he’d helped host the webcast for. Nice to see him expanding to other media; I wish him much well-earned success!)

SpaceX Nails First-Stage Landing Milestone

It happened while I was packing for a far less ambitious trip last night. As soon as I saw the news on my Twitter feed, I found the video and watched it again and again on my iPhone — beaming with elated joy.

At 32 minutes, 25 seconds into this SpaceX webcast, you can see their Falcon 9 first stage descend under control and land vertically, after successfully boosting its satellite delivery vehicle to an altitude of about 72km. The spectacular landing of the first stage is truly science fiction made reality, by dedicated and tireless effort and discipline of execution:

Tremendous congratulations are due to those at SpaceX who made this happen — made it look deceptively easy, even. The opening of a new frontier, with possibilities we can only as yet dimly imagine, will be made possible by advances such as this.

Here’s a low-altitude aerial view of just the first-stage landing:

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