SpaceX does it again

Another Falcon9 successfully landed on a moving barge this morning.

In order to make the economics work, these birds do a ballistic reentry, essentially falling out of the sky and making a corrective landing burn at the last possible minute. Since this Falcon was delivering a Japanese communications satellite to high orbit, the lifter fell a lot further than the last one did, ending up going twice as fast and requiring a 12-G final burn before touching down softly on the recovery vessel Of Course I Still Love You.

Congratulations to Elon Musk and the SpaceX team, who are among the many people who don’t read this blog.

VTOL Rocket Roundup

The Experimental Delta Clipper (DC-X) of the 1990s was canceled before it ever made it into space.

The Rotary Rocket Company’s incredibly innovative Roton was designed to land with helicopter blades instead of a parachute or a landing rocket. After the collapse of the small telecommunications satellite market in 1999 the company went out of business without ever building their unique spinning aerospike main engine; without a clear mission, investors were unwilling to fund the various exotic technologies that the company was successfully pioneering.

In 2013 SpaceX’s series of “grasshopper tests” picked up where the DC-X left off.

But SpaceX’s plan to land their Falcon 9 lifter on a seagoing barge has not yet succeeded.

And bringing us up to date, Blue Origin landed the New Shepard on the 23rd. I love the final replay of the landing sequence!

The White Tower

The header today is a panoramic view of the Tower of London, taken by #1 son. This is only part of that panorama – the whole thing can’t really be made to fit WordPress’s header aspect.

When I was younger I had a mental image of the Tower as something resembling a chess rook, with the heads of traitors on spikes over the portcullis and shivering naked miscreants suspended in cages from the walls.

Even though I’ve known for decades that my vision of William the Conqueror’s citadel was totally wrong (well, except the heads and cages part) I was unprepared for the sheer size and magnificence of this fortress. I wish we’d had more time to explore, and I hope we can go back some day.

Still half dead

Bhil says I should stay away from “probiotic seafood” in the future.

I lost so much fluid yesterday, so quickly, that I started drinking warm sugar water with chamomile just to keep hydrated enough to stay out of the hospital. I was working alone, which was in some ways convenient, since I didn’t have to worry about offending cow-orkers with my fever, sweats, vomiting and diarrhea, but also a little scary, since there was nobody to pick me up if I completely collapsed.

Managed to stomach a little oatmeal at breakfast, and I’ve been sipping at chocolate milk all day, but I probably shouldn’t have attempted that cheeseburger at lunchtime. I’m regretting it. Not ready for anything flavorful yet.

Flying back out tonight. I plan to recline my seat despite the kerfuffle.

Adding the final element to the migraine experience

I’ve always said, when discussing my infrequent migraines with physicians, “well, at least I don’t have any nausea.” I get all the other symptoms – pain, confusion, light and sound sensitivity, polychromatic visual aberrations, etc. – to a pretty extreme degree. But at least I’m not actively throwing up at the same time, right?

As I staggered off the plane in Boston’s Logan Airport, my six-hour migraine finally ebbing, it seemed like a good idea to have a nice fisherman’s platter and let the medication wear off before picking up the rental car.

The scrod was delicious, but the shrimp were tough and the oysters seemed a little off. Oysters vary quite a bit regionally (I’m used to the big, sweet oysters of Tappahannock) so I ate several of them anyway.

Thanks for the food poisoning, Legal Seafood.