Monday, August 4, 2008

SpaceX's Third Falcon 1 Launches... And Fails.

I mentioned several months ago that SpaceX normally plays its launches live over the internet, and I'd let you know when their next launch was so that any of the five people who read this blog could watch it.

Well, SpaceX announced Saturday the 2nd that their next launch would be... Saturday the 2nd. Due to the fact that it was Saturday, and I was occupied most of the day by getting my dog washed and having some friends over to my house, I completely missed the thing myself, and was therefore unable to make a post here.

But my dismay due to missing the launch was increased by the fact that the launch failed... again.

Trying to launch highly-expensive satellites on a platform that has never successfully made it to orbit was always a risky idea, but I held out hope that it would succeed. The first stage of the rocket was picture perfect, just like their last attempt, but it failed to disconnect from the second stage, which led to the destruction of the rocket and the three satellites that it was carrying.

SpaceX is going to go ahead with its fourth launch, which may happen as soon as a couple of months for now. However, if that one fails too, I see doom in the future for SpaceX, which would be a tragedy considering its significant potential to the world of commercial spaceflight, and (to a lesser extent) space tourism.

Oh, and a late report says that the rocket was carrying James Doohan's ashes, along with those of 200 other people. James Doohan, of course, played Scottie on Star Trek. Too bad Scottie didn't design the rocket. I actually met the guy once, just a few years before he died. Nice guy. His favorite line was "Captain! There be whales here!"

Progress: 4.03%  Flight Time: 0:06:05

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