atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6618: A not-unvarnished success and an unvarnished one.

"Our lander crashed on the Moon" is still a pretty big deal. The Israeli Moon lander that hitched a ride to orbit with another payload managed to make it to the Moon, but its descent engine quit about 10 km above the surface which--even in 1/6th G--was too far up for a safe landing.

But when you're sending the first private Moon lander to the Moon, just arriving there in whatever condition is a big win, and my hat's off to 'em.

* * *

Hillary Clinton is such a harridan she drove Vince Foster to suicide. Thank God that woman will NEVER be President.

* * *

Wild animal is still out of control. Remember that 16-year-old girl, whose father got up and complained about the police being mean to her? The one that bit one officer and kicked another's knee out?

She got kicked out of another high school, and after being taken to a hospital she wanders around the parking lot vandalizing cars--until the police show up, at which point she bites both of them while they are trying to restrain her.

Whatever her problem is, she clearly does not belong outside of an institution of one sort or another.

* * *

There is no need to fear the justice system if you are in a Chicago gang.
...the one who was convicted as a juvenile under the so-called "Extended Jurisdiction Juvenile" prosecution rules has continued to commit felonies with impunity and no returning to prison to serve his 30-year sentence.
The victim was a 16-year-old honors student in high school who got caught in the middle of a gang fight.

Gangs are the problem. Not guns.

* * *

"'Bigger Than Watergate' is understating it."

* * *

When someone says they have managed to get anything going faster than light, healthy skepticism is the only rational reaction. It would be fantastic if these people managed to do what they say they have done--which is to locally change the speed of light--but it is not the way to bet.

* * *

So, the second Falcon Heavy, the first paying flight, went off without a hitch today. This was an unvarnished success.

And look at this:

In that image, that white blob at the center top of the image--at various points in the video you see that stuff drift away from the outside of the engine's throat. I thought it was insulation, shaken loose by the launch; but it's not. What is it, then?

Frozen oxygen. It's oxygen which has been let out of the oxidizer tank, which then formed hoar frost on the exterior of the engine. Oxygen frost.

Right after that, the orbit transfer burn begins and that little bit of oxygen drifts back into the exhaust plume and vaporizes instantly.

As for the launch itself, it was completely flawless. We were again treated to the science-fiction image of two boosters landing themselves on adjacent landing pads. The core booster landed successfully, too. I cannot watch a Falcon Heavy launch without getting all choked up. This is fucking cool. This is where we should have been two decades ago, damn it, and would have been if space exploration hadn't been a political football.

It's an incredible sight to behold. Five years ago this was all science fiction--all of it!--and the idea of successfully landing three boosters (let alone one) was a pipe dream.

If you cannot look at a rocket launch with a measure of awe, it's either because you have no soul, or because they've become so routine that no one really notices them any longer. In 2019 America, it'll be the former.

* * *

I'll tell you what: looking at the front page of Imgur sure exposes you to some intense cuteness.

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