Print 26 comment(s) - last by Fnoob.. on Mar 31 at 8:48 AM

SpaceX Falcon 1 on the launchpad - Courtesy SpaceX
After a successful liftoff the SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket fell in to the ocean 40 seconds later is reporting that after 20 seconds of successful flight the Falcon 1 rocket began to change trajectory and splashed in to the Pacific Ocean 20 seconds later.  The report claims:

A new breed of low-cost rockets designed to revolutionize the space launch industry met a disastrous fate during its maiden flight Friday, tumbling out of control and slamming into the Pacific Ocean moments after liftoff.

It is unclear as of yet what caused the failure, however there is some speculation that a thermal insulator that was designed to come off during lift-off failed to seperate from the rocket successfully, possibly contributing to its early demise.  Although no official announcement has been posted on the SpaceX website,  Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX had the following to say about todays flight:

"We had a successful liftoff and Falcon made it well clear of the launch pad, but unfortunately the vehicle was lost later in the first stage burn.  More information will be posted once we have had time to analyze the problem."

The onboard video camera showed the rocket began to roll shortly after takeoff after which the video signal cut out. 

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By lodine on 3/25/2006 2:43:10 PM , Rating: 2
Having no background in anything aeronautically related, I still prefer the scaled composite approach to getting stuff into orbit. Just seems more efficient to use props/turbojets etc to get up a couple of miles and then let the rocket do the rest, though I guess its also arguably more risky.

RE: scaled
By Paratus on 3/25/2006 2:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
Of course Scaled can't get anything into orbit......

Just sub-orbital.

Big difference - about 12000mph and 3000C

RE: scaled
By lodine on 3/25/2006 6:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
just seems easier the other way. forgetting increased risk factors, what technically keeps you from mounting a saturn rocket in/under a modified 747 or 380, getting up to 38k-40k, dropping it and then igniting it? I'd imagine that you wou'd see a decent reduction in fuel needed to hit orbit. Though I'll admit that it soundss absolutely insane.....

RE: scaled
By lodine on 3/25/2006 6:52:23 PM , Rating: 2
make that falcon rocket :)

RE: scaled
By squeezee on 3/25/2006 9:05:48 PM , Rating: 2
One word: Thunder-Cougar-Falconbird

RE: scaled
By Fnoob on 3/25/2006 9:37:04 PM , Rating: 2
Right.... FNDunno what the Falcon looks like, but a Saturn 'strapped' to a 747 is similar to a midget cowboy strapped to a T-Rex... both would make for interesting take offs.

RE: scaled
By masher2 on 3/27/2006 10:49:59 AM , Rating: 2
> "but a Saturn 'strapped' to a 747 is similar to a midget cowboy strapped to a T-Rex"

Um, given the Saturn V would be over 150 longer and weigh ten times as much as the 747, it'd be more like the T-Rex strapped on the back of a cowboy.

RE: scaled
By Fnoob on 3/31/2006 8:48:07 AM , Rating: 2
Dyslexic metaphor - thanks for the correction.

RE: scaled
By Paratus on 3/25/2006 11:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
Uh a 747 can barely pick up an unloaded Space Shuttle. Now you want to ad several million more pounds of fuel and rocket?!

Maybe when combined cycle ( one engine acts as a ramjet -> to scramjet -> to rocket) engines make it off the drawing board using a plane to launch it would help. But in reality it's not the altitude its the speed that's important. You could launch from a weather balloon at 150000 feet but you'd still need to accelerate to 17500mph to make orbit.

RE: scaled
By masher2 on 3/26/2006 7:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
> what technically keeps you from mounting a saturn rocket in/under a modified 747 or 380, getting up to 38k-40k...

Just to clarify, launch height by itself doesn't help put anything in orbit. It's all velocity based...and the little bit of velocity that a subsonic jet adds isn't that much compared to orbital velocity. You save a little on air resistance at 40K feet, but here also its not a huge benefit.

High-altitude jet launches are very helpful for suborbital launches, but for true space shots, such designs usually add more complexity than they're worth.

High cost stuff doesn't always work either
By Mogadon on 3/25/2006 1:24:19 PM , Rating: 4
Not sure if you guys have noticed but plenty of very high cost space industry projects have ended in flames and tears too.

By Hypernova on 3/25/2006 4:46:50 PM , Rating: 5
Damn right, rome wasn't built in one day and theses people should be applauded for there efforts.

By Bremen7000 on 3/25/2006 1:55:58 PM , Rating: 1
"possibly contributing to it's early demise"

RE: Typo/grammar
By KristopherKubicki on 3/25/2006 2:21:29 PM , Rating: 1
Fixed. Thanks.

You're an idiot
By plewis00 on 3/27/2006 9:34:49 AM , Rating: 1
I read most articles on this site and every single time I see one of you arseholes comment about the spelling or grammar it makes me irate. All it shows is you have read the article but are too retarded to actually post something of value, so you lash out at someone else's work (i.e. the article's spelling/grammar). Seriously, who gives a shit... and it's the same people every time. Loser.

Back to the article... I read on that site that the rocket launch is a third the usual cost associated with it. I don't know if that's accurate but given the cost anyway, even if the first one failed, hopefully they'll learn from it and make the next one better which is what is needed. Even 1 out of 2 is still lower cost than before (if I read the page correctly), though there is still the cost of clearing up this one. Well, they can only keep trying. I'm guessing so many of these failures are due to the massive force build-up in a launch, because, relatively speaking, it's not uncommon.

RE: You're an idiot
By marklar on 3/27/2006 1:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
I read most articles on this site and every single time I see one of you arseholes comment about the spelling or grammar it makes me irate.

While grammar and spelling are not a big deal on a personal blog or forum, Dailytech is a professional news site. They try to maintain a professional appearance, and grammar/spelling are a part of that appearance. By pointing out flaws, these "arseholes" are helping the editors improve this site, unlike you.

RE: You're an idiot
By plewis00 on 3/27/2006 2:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
Newspapers, official letters, etc. have mistakes on them too. Fact is, it doesn't matter because the article is still readable. If 'letters to the editor' in newspapers were of the sort of comments we get here from people like that (and maybe you) it would be a sad place. So get over it, because there are more important things and I'd much rather see more good articles with a few mistakes than less because more time is spent proof-reading. I'll accept sometimes major errors in statistics can change the understanding of a passage, but the difference between the word 'its' and 'it's' (or some other equal example) is totally irrelevant and doesn't improve anything. I don't help improve this place? Maybe not, but that's your opinion (which I don't value) and frankly what's more likely is you are one of the losers who does spell and grammar check the pages so you can get your fix of winning one over on someone else who does have something to show once in your life.

By DigitalFreak on 3/25/2006 12:58:49 PM , Rating: 2
In this case Low Cost = Cheap

RE: Heh
By PLaYaHaTeD on 3/25/2006 1:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
dont you mean "in this case low cost = POS"

RE: Heh
By CheesePoofs on 3/25/2006 10:19:15 PM , Rating: 2
no, not really. As Musk wrote in his weblog, "only 5 of the first 9 Pegasus launches succeeded; 3 of 5 for Ariane; 9 of 20 for Atlas; 9 of 21 for Soyuz; and 9 of 18 for Proton." Most of those rockets are now considered very reliable. Given time, the Falcon 1 will be hopefully be considered the same way.

Save the oceans!!
By Souka on 3/25/06, Rating: 0
RE: Save the oceans!!
By doughtree on 3/25/2006 12:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
She's right

Save the Ocean lol
By SEAWOLF607 on 3/25/2006 1:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
Best two outa three anyone???

By stephenbrooks on 3/25/2006 2:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
To be honest I'd expect a fair number of failures while in real-world operation for anything this complex before it's completely ironed out. A crash doesn't necessarily mean something's fundamentally wrong, perhaps just a certain component needs replacing. Just as well each rocket is low cost :)

By Pete84 on 3/25/2006 5:16:27 PM , Rating: 2 on/f1/060325leak...

A fuel leak burned out hydrolic controls, wonder how bad it will be to fix.

If it ain't broke don't fix it
By SunAngel on 3/25/06, Rating: -1
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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