Monday, February 13

Falcon 1 launch attempt: glass half full?

Ok, once again the Falcon 1 launcher, developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX company, did not get off the ground in its launch attempt last Friday from Kwajelien Atoll in Pacific -- a frequent test site for Air Force missile tests. There have been several delays, as a result of a series of technical glitches. This time, the rocket engine actually did fire successfully for a few seconds, so at least it ended up being a successful engine test, even if not the expected first test launch.
But this does demostrate one of the virtues of this mixed-bag design. Unlike most traditional rockets, this one can be shut down, and then fired again, without a lot of fuss and kerfuffle. That's one of the very key aspects to bringing launch costs down by making launch and landing operations simple, routine and airplane-like.


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