Video shows why rocket science is difficult. More fun news on the wide open frontier of space.

How Not to Land an Orbital Rocket Booster – Elon Musk posted a video of failed launches. You might call this a blooper reel. I prefer to call it:

This is why rocket science is called rocket science.

Enjoy the incidents of “rapid unscheduled disassembly”:


(Link: youtube=

As you chuckle at the failed recoveries, keep in mind SpaceX has recovered 16 boosters, reused 2 of them, and has recovered 2 Dragon capsules, having already reused 1.

That, is rocket science.

9/22/17 – Behind the Black – Soyuz launches Russian GPS satellite – In the fun-to-watch race for most launches in 2017, Russia now has a slight lead over SpaceX.

With a successful launch of a GLONASS navigation satellite on the 21st, Russia has 14 launches for the year compared to 13 for SpaceX.

In a country by country race, Russia is still behind with 14 compared to combined launch of 19 for all U.S. companies.

I’m not particularly concerned with who has the highest tally. I am happy to see an ever-increasing total from all players.

A ULA launch of a classified NRO sat over the weekend increased the US tally to 20.

9/16/17 – NASA Space Flight – CRS-12 Dragon completes her ISS mission with splashdown return – The SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully return to earth. It carried 6,415 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station. This included 3,642 pounds of cargo in a pressurized capsule and a 2,773 pound test instrument which will be attached to the ISS for a three-year experiment.

The capsule returned 3,800 pounds of cargo to earth. Dragon is the only supply vessel that is able to return anything from the space station.

9/22/17 – Behind the Black – Private company makes the first phone call using smart phone and nanosats  and – Nano satellite Beams Smart phone Voice Call for First Time – A new company, Sky and Space Global, is developing a satellite constellation consisting of nanosatellites to provide telephone and text services available worldwide. They plan a constellation of 200 nanosatellites, each in a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 310 miles.

Nanosatellites (also called cubesats) are tiny, sized in increments of 2.5 inch cubes. From the photo, these look like 3U in size, which means they would measure 2.5” by 2.5” by 7.5”.

The really big news is they have successfully tested a cell phone call on their initial group of three nanosatellites. That shows their concept of using nanosats works.

Very cool.

This is still more competition for the growing number of companies setting up cell phone or Internet services using a constellation of satellites. More competition will make every competitor stronger.

Very cool.

The breakthrough on this concept of using satellites is that high-speed, reliable data services will be available in developing countries without having to incur the cost and time of building out all the ground-based infrastructure.

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