High speed Falcon 9 first stage camera view

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SpaceX has released a high speed version of the camera view taken from the camera mounted on the Falcon 9 first stage that successfully landed on a barge on Friday.

I have embedded that video below the fold. Quite entertaining, though it emphasizes how much the flight resembles a high speed roller coaster ride.



  • Alex

    Again, a great stuff and achievement. I am congratulating to Elon Musk and his SpaceX engineers. NASA stands blank. An important question arises: Why did NASA not developed this method/technology itself already a long time ago and supplied it to launcher industry?

  • wodun

    NASA sometimes works on developing technology but they rely a lot on companies to build things they want. They can’t compete with the imagination and innovation of free Americans pursuing their interests.

    But why hasn’t this been done before? We live in a time where there is a confluence of maturing and developing technologies that have allowed this to happen. Computer programing, materials sciences, design, 3D printing, communications, are all just a few areas that were not ready in the past to do what they can today. Even the barge is a mixture of really old, recently matured, and new technology.

    NASA has been on the cutting edge of technological development but they are not well suited to incorporating different technologies and industries on a scale like this or able to change their course to implement anything should one of their employees have a good idea.

  • enginemike

    Be interesting to see it at normal speed.

    Is there anyway to slow down a you tube video?

  • enginemike

    I just found out that if you go to the setting button in the video you can select a speed of .25 that puts the video into a more realistic mode.

    Learn something every day.

  • Gary

    The deceleration Gs must be substantial and simultaneously exacting.
    Quite amazing.

  • Alex

    The video is about 10-times too fast. A good measure is the reentry-burn duration, which was in real time 20 seconds.

  • Edward

    Alex asked: “Why did NASA not developed this method/technology itself already a long time ago and supplied it to launcher industry?”

    NASA and other rocket engineers had previously concluded that the stresses and heat placed on a first stage during its reentry would damage it too much to make it economically reusable.

    Either the SpaceX engineers disagreed, or they decided that new materials and techniques were available to allow for first stage reusability at a reasonable refurbishment cost.

    Since SpaceX has not yet reused a first stage, we cannot be certain that they are right, but now that they have had time to analyse some returned rockets, they still seem confident that their first stages are economically reusable.

  • Tom Billings

    “Why did NASA not developed this method/technology itself already a long time ago and supplied it to launcher industry?”

    Doing so would have required NASA to focus on technology development as their main thrust of activity. Instead, they were involved from the start of NASA in countering Kruschev’s space propaganda offensive from 1957-1968. During that time, the Congress members who approve NASA’s budget learned to use it to enhance their careers, by directing money to political allies and dependents.

    Funding NASA programs for a 15 years long program of developing incrementally cheaper rockets to be reusable (This is how long it is taking SpaceX, since its founding.) would have done nothing to enhance the political careers of these members sitting in Congress. Indeed, the many small efforts needed to do this would have required them to expend many more favors owed them by other members of Congress, for the votes of those other members, than would single large programs like the Space Shuttle, and Constellation, Aries, etc. Thus, they made clear to NASA that they would support large “inspiring” programs, that concentrated money in their districts and States. This was obvious to NASA management by 1972, when Apollo ended.

    Every once in a while, NASA tries to sneek into the budget tech development funding for tech to make spaceflight cheaper, but such programs are persistently trimmed back by Congress, to feed the money into the large programs they favor, like SLS and Orion.

  • Alex

    Tom Billings & Edward: Thank you both for good comments. Tom: Your comment remind me to statements from Dr. Jeff Bell. I think you desribed the basic illness of space politics very well.

  • Edward

    To expand on wodun’s comment: “They can’t compete with the imagination and innovation of free Americans pursuing their interests.”

    It is better to have 300 million Americans (or 7 billion people worldwide) try new things than to rely upon a centrally controlled committee. The committee is limited in its imagination and its resources. With the population free to innovate its own ideas, it gets to use the resources of the whole population.

    When people rely only upon government, they will only get what the government wants them to have. When the people rely upon themselves and each other, they get what they want or can make. The difference between Venezuela 30 years ago and Venezuela today makes my point.

    The difference between US commercial space 30 years ago and US commercial space today also makes my point.

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