#LaunchAmerica SUCCESS!

THAT was cool.

This afternoon I set things aside to watch the launch of the first manned space flight from USA soil in almost a decade.  Demo-2 atop the Falcon 9.  Postponed a few days ago because of weather, today they went.  Terrific and picture perfect.   And the launch vehicle landed on the drone ship.

I note a couple of odd details.

First, they didn’t not have a mission patch on their launch suits.  The first time since Gemini 5 in 1965 and through STS-135 in 2011.  Collected patches HERE

I very much like this development.

Let’s end dependence on other countries both to haul the mail and to manufacture our consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.

This was a much needed event today, given the demoralizing troubles that are rising in American cities, including my home town of Minneapolis.

I very much liked this burn more than the burn I watched last night.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. GHP says:

    Hi Father Z.,

    We normally get our share of mission stickers before a mission goes up. But since we’ve been on mandatory telework since 16 March I have no way of knowing if we received any. Once back — if we ever get them — I’ll send one to you.

    — Guy

  2. Kent Wendler says:

    Once again the video dropped out just before the Falcon 9 touched down on the drone landing ship, not to return until just after the successful landing. Has SpaceX ever completely shown a successful drone ship landing?

    [I suppose you think this was done in sounds stages.]

  3. hwriggles4 says:

    I saw the launch too. A wonderful sight, particularly the two stages separate. Looking forward to seeing these stages re-used again and again.

    Few people know that the early space shuttle concept envisioned a manned booster that would return to earth. As the shuttle became larger, this concept became two solid rocket boosters (that had some reusability) and a disposable external tank.

    Docking with the ISS should be around 0930 tomorrow. Good luck and Godspeed. Lord guard and guide the men who fly, through the great spaces across the sky, be with them traversing the air, in darkening storms or sunshine fair.

  4. Kathleen10 says:

    Very exciting! God be with them, I lit a holy candle before the launch. What a nail biter a launch is.
    I’m more than ambivalent about billionaires gaining access to space, however.

  5. robtbrown says:

    Kent Wendler and Fr Z,

    I don’t think so. The thrust of the rocket vibrates the ship, causing the loss of satellite link.

    There is, of course, video of earth landings of the Falcon heavy.


    BTW, I know an engineer who works for SpaceX–he is married to the daughter of a tennis buddy. I have a standing invitation to tour the factory.

  6. Andreas says:

    The Dragon capsule ‘Endeavor’ has docked with the ISS and crew ingress to the station successful. This an outstanding and very welcome set of achievements; an uplifting counterpoint to the barbarity being seen at the same time on the streets of some cities so very far below.

  7. iamlucky13 says:

    Regarding the loss of signal on the landing barge – this happens very regularly due to the shaking of the satellite antenna by the intense rocket plume. However, the video is stored by the camera, in addition to being transmitted, and usually shared on SpaceX’s youtube channel after the barge returns to shore.

    If it’s ok to post a link, here’s a sort of “worst of” compilation – 2 minutes of short clips of all the crashes that occurred as they worked out the details of how to successfully land a rocket on a barge. Some of them are from aerial drone cameras from a distance, and others from the camera on the barge:

    Here on the west coast, the protesters are also punishing the police for the complicity they are somehow presumed to share in the death of Mr. Floyd…or something. I still haven’t figure out how looting luxury clothing stores and burning cars helps accomplish any justice for him.

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Congratulations to all involved with the successful launch and docking with the ISS. And the President is designating “Antifa” a domestic terror organization. A productive weekend in these United States.

  9. GregB says:

    One drone ship landing video that was complete was the Starlink-3 mission on January 29th of this year. SpaceX has used reused boosters for launching its Starlink satellite constellation. According to the video, the Starlink-3 mission used a reused booster.
    @ Kathleen10:
    Billionaires in space is not very much different than the history of commercial aviation. When commercial passenger air flights first started they were for the rich. It took a while for the cost structure to get to the point to where people of more modest means could afford to fly. To me commercial spaceflight and commercial business ventures in space marks the true coming of age of the space age. It is the only way that spaceflight will be anything more than a governmental monopoly, with very few people having access to space. The rich have always been at the vanguard of technological development. Usually only the well-heeled have the funds to afford the early adopter, early generations of high tech.
    This weekend I’ve been just about glued to the TV watching the Crew Dragon launch, docking and crew ingress into the ISS. It’s great to see human spaceflight return to the USA.

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