Elon crashes another rocket

All of those hard-earned Tesla stock price gains going to good use:

Because space.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


    • Jonathan Rubenstein

      that’s how one learns, how civilization progresses – by making mistakes.

      At least Musk is actually building something new, rather than primitive Australia with your houses and holes.

      • NoodlesRomanovMEMBER

        Yeah look at that guy trying to innovate and failing! Ha ha!
        All that money that gets sent into space! None of it is spent on local engineers, scientists, technologists and manufacturers for it to be subsequently circulated into the economy.
        All wasted effort as well – no innovation related to space propulsion research ever ended up improving terrestrial industry or society.

        • no innovation related to space propulsion research ever ended up improving terrestrial industry or society.
          I’m not sure if I should laugh at your “Monty Python” Romans reference or cry at your lack of knowledge.
          maybe you need to do a little reading on the early history of the semiconductor industry. Might have all happened without the Apollo program…or it might not have
          Lots of advancements in Plastics and Metallurgy and not to forget Fuelcell technology
          Lots of advancements in High temp materials Cermets and other weird and wonderful technology
          Yeah so: What did the space program ever do for us?

        • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

          Just imagine how many harbourfront mansions he could have built for 5 million and charged 50 million each. Thats Australian innovation
          In the US the govt subsidises the Space Industry, here the property industry.
          Which makes better TV – The Block or rockets launching…

      • Spot on, Jonathan.

        Both computers and cameras are much cheaper now than they were back in the 1960s so the costs of “mistakes” today are far cheaper because we can salvage most of the data.

  1. Also full recall of cars for screen issue.
    Elon said he is taking a break from twitter for a while.
    Probably a good idea.

  2. Great success again!
    Iterative rocket testing is a blowing-up style business….this is completely different to NASA/ULA methodology.
    There’s already SN10 complete ready to launch next to the remains of SN9, plus four more improved versions under construction, should be ready in a couple months.
    The first big booster is also nearly complete and will do a hop soon.
    They are aiming for end of year orbital flight….

  3. darkasthunderMEMBER

    its interesting watching Agile and Iterative proceses used in complex engineering projects!

  4. It looks pretty cool how they land by flipping the rocket to vertical at 1.3km to the ground. Not leaving much distance for any error correction in the guidance systems.

    • It’s guided before the flip as well. If it’s not were it’s supposed to be at the flip they are already in trouble.

  5. BTW, turns out rocketry is quite hard and there are often many failures before things succeed. In fact the company blew up 3 times and almost went bankrupt before their first one succeeded. It’s not like writing an economics blog.

    • Not an industry for the risk averse. Imagine being given a choice to go up to the ISS or ride the space shuttle, would be exciting, but the risk of dying must always be in the front of your mind, you need to still function with that risk always present, totally different to what MB or I do for sure.

        • Yes and yes. I do my risk management by driving sober (mostly), keeping car well maintained and wearing a seatbelt and driving at recommended speed. to me, that seems safe and doesn’t give me any concerns, that I can die at any moment. I think the astronauts through their training would feel the same way.

        • I definitely do think about dying while driving in the Chinese dominated areas of Sydney and Melbourne

        • rob barrattMEMBER

          Dying while driving a car? With the number of early primates now driving on QLD motorways it’s just a question of time…. I would rate QLD drivers not far behind Thai taxi drivers …

          • No, but
            “the risk of dying must always be in the front of your mind, you need to still function with that risk always present,”
            More people die in cars than going to space.

          • That appears an inapt comparison based on the volume of people being conveyed by car every day versus space

  6. I honestly fear for the astronauts using his craft to the Space Station and back. Fear accident in waiting.

    • Being an astronaut is much more dangerous than commenting on the internet.
      Dragon/Falcon have very good safety records for orbital class launching systems.
      There’s a commercial (aka civilian) crew going to space end of this year on a Dragon capsule, first of many.
      We’re not talking modern aviation standards, more like 1930’s pre-jet era civilian airliners/flying boats….but its getting better.

      • I’d say only a bit worse than modern military fighter aircraft. Pushing flight performance to the limits doesn’t come without risk.

    • I'll have anotherMEMBER

      I fear for the astronaut who isn’t in a rocket that was blown up multiple times before getting on board.

      There is one sure fire way to test safety, put your money where your mouth is a make the damn thing. Keep making it until it doesn’t malfunction, then allow people to use it.

      This method of engineering is about the most full proof method. They do it with cars and crash dummies all the time.

  7. The early German rocket testing was certainly not without risk. “T-Stoff leaking from the ruptured line had dissolved the unconscious pilot alive” and “.. two propellants: “T-Stoff”, highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide; and “C-Stoff”, a 30% mixture of Hydrazine Hydrate and Methanol. These propellants were hypergolic, meaning that when mixed they immediately and violently exploded.”


    • master of toilet paper

      he even wanted to stop at the urals and let stalin have siberia so he could (in his words) “continue his interesting socialist experiment”

      it’s curious how magnanimous the fuhrer actually was relative to his contemporaries, or even to today’s politicians

  8. Randy MarshMEMBER

    There is a better than 50% chance humans will set foot on mars by 2030 and that is thanks to Musk. Cost of space launch is going to fall from 10000 usd per kg to leo to 200 usd per kg due to reusability. HnH it’s time to drink the koolaid

  9. Sweet.

    I think Im becoming an MB addict.

    Not sure whether MB is a Trading Column or a News Column, either way it works. Im too curious to know whats been going on and I find it difficult to ignore. I love all this informative Centrist news.

    I can see myself staying subscribed to MB for years. Its all just too much fun.

    Im actually quite inspired by Elon. I’ve always loved astronomy and science. A lot of terrible stuff going on in the world today and for some reason, this guys gives me hope. He reminds me of the Zefram Cochrane of Star Trek. The guy who brings Space Travel to the world. Who knows? Maybe in years to come, interstellar travel and the Enterprise wont be science fiction anymore?

    The problem with the world is we are a societal mob. We relish in our shit baggery, conflicts, corruptions and wars. The very few geniuses who have reached ahead for a better world tend to be ignored and receive very little recognition from the Mob. People dont like change. Anything that goes against change seen only as a threat to our stability. Some people are completely radical and shaking up the world. I for one, think some of these people do an amazing job.

    I just dont think people like. change. Boomers dont like it and many others dont like it. If we keep thinking like this, then the world will never get anywhere. I think some change can be good for us and even if its just the little things we do, I feel sometimes it pays to get behind and support those people. I think Elons great. I hope he succeeds. I think MB’s great. I hope they succeed. As for ABC and Fairfax, I’ll probably get around to reading them someday.

    • Fabian AlderseyMEMBER

      …though Elon Musk doesn’t “tend to be ignored” and actually receives a fair bit of recognition. My impression is that Tesla’s share price has a lot to do with the Elon Musk factor?

  10. This is normal engineering experience mixed with taking a risk.

    It’s interesting to compare it with Australia’s experience in space, we were the third country to launch a rocket and satellite but that was in the days before making money became our cultural touchstone. Fast forward and we have a space agency but it’s main task is to figure out how to make readies from the rapidly growing global space industry. Meanwhile, little ole’ NZ, our cousins we tend to ignore have quietly produced one of the world’s leading small payload launch companies, the small launcher equivalent of SpaceX.

    That’s the problem with concentrating on getting rich, it really narrows your horizons.