atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6214: Egad, that grass....

There was a nastygram from the code enforcement dick about the grass on the back lot. Well, the days we've had decent weather, I've been working, and the days I've had off, the weather was shit, and I'm not going to cut grass when it's 50° and pouring rain outside.

It was two feet tall in spots, though. Had to run the mower at slower speed than normal with the deck all the way up to get it to regulation height; but it's there, and I cut the front and back yards as well, so the grass is done for the time being.


* * *

You are wrong about one thing. "At best, [SpaceX] have accomplished the same type of partial reusability that the Space Shuttle demonstrated on its first flight all the way back in 1981."

The Shuttle was not a reusable platform.

Yes: the orbiter was reused in that they didn't have to build a whole new one--but they couldn't reuse the thing without completely overhauling its engines and heat shield. The engines had to be completely disassembled and inspected after each flight, and then reassembled. The heat shield always had to be inspected and repaired after each use, but especially after NASA went CFC-free. (This is not something they called attention to, but those "heat-resistant tiles" on the shuttle had to be grouted with an ablative compound.)

The ship needed intensive mainenance after each flight. It's as if you could drive your car to work, but before driving it home, you had to:
1) Disassemble the engine and transmission, and replace any worn parts on reassembly
2) Repaint the car
3) Replace the tires and brakes
4) Disassemble the suspension, clean everything, replace all wear components like wheel bearings, tie rod ends, and ball joints, and put everything back together again with new fasteners
5) Replace the seat belts, evacuate and recharge the air conditioning system, and change all fluids which have otherwise not been touched by prior procedures on this list, including the windshield washer and all lubricants.
The shuttle was that maintenance-intensive. It used a new external fuel tank every time it flew, and while the solid rocket boosters (SRBs) could be refilled with propellant and reused, that too was an extremely labor-intensive process costing so much that NASA was basically using new SRBs every time.

NASA sold us the shuttle based on a one-week turnaround; SpaceX is looking to get a one-day turnaround. Having a booster which can be flown, refueled, and flown again is light years ahead of anything NASA ever did with the shuttle even if they never managed to successfully recover a second stage.

But I wouldn't bet against them pulling it off.

* * *

Ah, time for WoW.

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