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+ - In Daring Plan, Tomorrow SpaceX to Land a Rocket on the Earth

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The cost of getting to orbit is exorbitant, because the rocket, with its multimillion-dollar engines, ends up as trash in the ocean after one launching, something Elon Musk likens to throwing away a 747 jet after a single transcontinental flight. That's why tomorrow morning at 620 am his company hopes to upend the economics of space travel in a daring plan by attempting to land the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket intact on a floating platform, 300 feet long and 170 feet wide in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX has attempted similar maneuvers on three earlier Falcon 9 flights, and on the second and third attempts, the rocket slowed to a hover before splashing into the water. “We’ve been able to soft-land the rocket booster in the ocean twice so far,” says Musk. “Unfortunately, it sort of sat there for several seconds, then tipped over and exploded. It’s quite difficult to reuse at that point.”

After the booster falls away and the second stage continues pushing the payload to orbit, its engines will reignite to turn it around and guide it to a spot about 200 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida. Musk puts the chances of success at 50 percent or less but over the dozen or so flights scheduled for this year, “I think it’s quite likely, 80 to 90 percent likely, that one of those flights will be able to land and refly.” SpaceX will offer its own launch webcast on the company's website beginning at 6 a.m. If SpaceX’s gamble succeeds, the company plans to reuse the rocket stage on a later flight. “Reusability is the critical breakthrough needed in rocketry to take things to the next level.""

+ - White House Names Google's Megan Smith As CTO->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "The White House has named long-time Google executive Megan Smith as the government's new CTO, in charge of improving technology and the use of data across agencies. Smith most recently served as vice president at Google's tech lab, Google[x]. She previously served as CEO of PlanetOut, helped design early smartphone technologies at General Magic and worked on multimedia products at Apple Japan in Tokyo. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, and just might be, as noted in a previous Slashdot post, the first US CTO worthy of the title. Also on Thursday, the White House named Alexander Macgillivray, a former general counsel and head of public policy at Twitter, as deputy U.S. CTO."
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Comment: Electrostatic Inertial Confinement Fusion (Score 1) 225

by mknewman (#47375531) Attached to: Senate Budgetmakers Move To End US Participation In ITER
We should be pursuing the legacy of Robert Brusard https://www.youtube.com/watch?... like these folks http://www.talk-polywell.org/b.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... It works, 15 year old students have made it work in a lab http://www.popsci.com/diy/arti... and $100m would build a proof of concept energy positive plant. I have no idea why we have not done this other than we may have already under the NAVY but they aren't talking. NASA should build one for interplanetary ion engines.

Comment: Re:Flyout and back plan (Score 1) 105

by mknewman (#47274667) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9R Vertical Take-Off and Landing Test Flight
I believe the first stage makes an orbit before de-orbiting via a burn, comes in head first with an ablative heat shield, and flips over once it's roughly subsonic. The details are still sketchy but from what I heard the first real 'landing' on water was approximately 1 mile off course. Musk wants 300 ft on next flight and on a pad at the cape by end of the year.

+ - Tesla releases electric car patents to the public->

Submitted by mknewman
mknewman (557587) writes "Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.

Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology."

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Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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