How not to land a rocket


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The SpaceX blooper reel! It shows some crash footage that had not been released earlier. Also, the captions almost certainly were written by Musk himself, and if not, reek of his sense of humor, and also reveal the humbleness that he and his company bring to this effort. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you will make it hard to spot the moment when you are making a major error.

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14 comments

  • Joe

    Enjoyed!, thank you!

  • Michael Mangold

    Can you imagine any national space program releasing such a compilation?

  • Micheal,

    I recall seeing a film of NASA miscues (including Apollo 1) in elementary school. The teacher mentioned that in a free society our successes and failures were public, unlike the secretive Russians.

  • Blair Ivey: Yes, but that was in the 1960s. Since the mid-seventies NASA has become like most government agencies, reluctant to talk about failure and quite willing to hide it if possible.

  • mpthompson

    The old adage that “practice makes perfect” comes to mind.

    The difference between SpaceX and any equivalent government effort is that the government would have spent a decade and spent $8 billion to make sure that it worked on the first or second try. I don’t believe that an incremental approach as demonstrated by SpaceX would be allowed.

  • wayne

    Blair-
    I too, have memory of the space-program being very open throughout the 1960’s.
    We were shown NASA films on a regular basis in science-class and it was definitely transmitted to me that doing all this “out in the open” was a definite feature, despite failures.
    As well, it was common-knowledge Space was risky-business and people could die at any second.
    (I seriously doubt we have the stomach to tolerate that level of risk in this day and age.)

  • Wayne:

    “As well, it was common-knowledge Space was risky-business and people could die at any second.”

    Not to make light of the very high-risk nature of Mercury-Gemini-Apollo, but if you were wearing a red shirt in space in the 1960’s, you didn’t buy green bananas.

  • wodun

    NASA could engage in destructive development but with each incident of imperfection, we would get voxsplained about how many lunches for school kids could have been bought instead.

  • Michael Miller

    .

    Failures lead to improvements.

    Dramatic failures lead to YouTube.

    .

  • Steve Earle

    Blair:

    “Not to make light of the very high-risk nature of Mercury-Gemini-Apollo, but if you were wearing a red shirt in space in the 1960’s, you didn’t buy green bananas.”

    HA! That was almost a cheerios vs LCD screen moment right there….. ;-)

    This all reminds me of the great movie “The Right Stuff”. I love watching it, but it always leaves me sad that those days and those kind of leaders and risk-takers seem to be gone forever.

  • wayne

    wodun-
    yepper, heard my share of that type-o-logic as well.

    Michael Miller-
    good stuff!

    Blair-
    it definitely Sings!

    Steve-
    Good stuff!
    tangentially– highly recommend “Marooned” 1969. It holds up surprisingly well, and it’s a good story.

  • wayne

    ….so everyone can appreciated this Gem of “shared cultural experience/memory,” from Blair above. (red shirt’s don’t buy green bananas.)

    In the Star Trek Universe, often unnamed “away team” crewmen, wearing red shirts, died very quickly at the hands of the monster-of-the-week.

    Star Trek:
    “Curse of the Redshirt”
    https://youtu.be/5sQ4cylk-mE
    (4:01)

    And with the movie “Galaxy Quest” in 1999, the “red-shirts die quickly” meme was firmly cemented into the culture.

    Galaxy Quest
    “I’m Gonna Die”
    https://youtu.be/qopdYE3_QoU
    (2:28)

  • Garry

    Good judgment comes from experience.

    Experience comes from bad judgment.

  • Edward

    wodun wrote: “NASA could engage in destructive development but with each incident of imperfection, we would get voxsplained about how many lunches for school kids could have been bought instead.

    Strangely, we still don’t get equivalent lectures on how many lunches could be bought for the revenues of movies and TV or the money spent on the National Endowment for the Arts. None of those have spinoffs that improve our longevity and technology. Weather satellites, however, have saved countless millions(?) of lives and greatly improved agricultural production. Communication satellites have saved lives during disasters and reduced the cost of communication, allowing for more money to be available to buy lunches for school kids.

    But those who complain about progress, including the cost of NASA’s development programs, do not notice that which is not seen, only that which is seen. Not so smart of them.
    http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html

    Blair Ivey wrote: “Not to make light of the very high-risk nature of Mercury-Gemini-Apollo, but if you were wearing a red shirt in space …

    Still not making light of the danger of real space travel but in accord with the light mood of the video: I still avoid wearing red shirts, even on Earth.

    wayne wrote: “In the Star Trek Universe, often unnamed “away team” crewmen, wearing red shirts, died very quickly at the hands of the monster-of-the-week.

    This guy has an argument that wearing a red shirt was safer than wearing blue or gold:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIRRDO7_SZI (3 minutes)

    Garry wrote: “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

    Geez. With all my “experience,” shouldn’t I have good judgment by now?

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