They don't have nearly as much to offer if they can't do launches quickly. I'm sure they would make that a feature of their offering.
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They can carry about 110kg to LEO, compared to the Falcon 9's 13150kg. That's 0.84% of the payload capacity. A launch is estimated to cost $4 900 000, compared to the Falcon 9's $61 200 000. That's 8.01%. That means cost per mass to orbit is nearly an order of magnitude worse.
Yes, this is a really small rocket. If you are a government or some other entity that needs to put something small in orbit right away, the USD$5 Million price might not deter you, even though you could potentially launch a lot of small satellites on a Falcon 9 for less.
And it's a missile affordable by most small countries, if your payload can handle the re-entry on its own. Uh-oh.
Nothing like releasing your review the day after units start shipping, ie when it's too late to find out the unit's faults.
Goddammit I hate embargos...the only reason they exist is to hide flaws and problems from people who could get a refund. Ray, stop being the industry's bitch. You have a ton of readers, tell gadget makers to pound sand if they tell you that you can't release a review before it ships.
In these situations, I'm not entirely sure collateral damage is of a primary concern. The image of either building being damaged or destroyed or the threat to elected representatives likely presents a worse impact than collateral damage might. Its like all the special protections they already have. For instance, punch your neighbor and face a misdemeanor, punch a senator or the president and it is not only a felony but a serious one at that. Kill someone in an auto accident and it can be a charge with less than 10 years but run over a police dog and you face life for killing an officer of the law.
Our system has said they are special and more protected than most people for quite a while now.
Microminiature accelerometers are really cheap and very very light, and you don't have to wait for them to spin up or deal with their mechanical issues. I doubt you will see a gyro used as a sensor any longer.
Similarly, computers make good active stabilization possible and steering your engine to stabilize is a lot lighter than having to add a big rotating mass.
Anything is possible but they have helicopter rides at the county fair around my neck of the woods. They take off and land right next to the fair way with an area about 30 yards roped off. Of course they approach and leave from the far side and away from the rides but its usually still over a parking lot.
I'm not sure I would be overly excited about his landing. Still some concerns but likely not dangerous.
When you last flew a jet somewhere, why wasn't it a seaplane? Surely such things would be an easier problem to solve than building airports.
Short of giving you the starter course in rocket engineering, I can only say no, it's not easier.
There is a surface to air missile battery on the capital building and white house. Likely in other areas around there to.
Because of his slow speed and open cockpit they had the opportunity to watch him instead of just reacting. If he got closer or appearedt to be threatening to the white house he likely would have been shot down.
The booster can indeed make it back uprange to Kennedy Space Center, and they've leased a landing pad for it there. Besides the turn-around burn, they tilt the booster against the airstream and let aerodynamics push it back uprange during that 78 mile descent.
If there's one thing they should work on, it's not thrusters but having the capability to throttle to hover. That would potentially change the entire low approach. It is complicated by the fact that engine performance goes nonlinear in the low range.
A video from the barge is now online here. If you step through the final frames, you can see that the camera mount ends up knocked over and pointing at the ocean, but the lens and its cover are unbroken and all we see flying appear to be small debris. So not a really high-pressure event.
It's very tempting to think this should work like an airplane. Lots of people wrote that it was "too hot", etc. But it isn't an airplane. The plan was really to approach at 1/4 Kilometer Per Second, then brake at the very last second.
Obviously Crew Dragon, which carries people, will approach differently. But it's a lot lighter.