Friday, January 05, 2018

Elon Musk's SpaceX has a new advantage: Blowing up its own rocket, automatically — Quartz

Fail different

"SpaceX, however, pursuing cheaper and more efficient launches, worked with the Air Force to turn over that duty to a GPS-equipped on-board computer, an “Automatic Flight Safety System” that debuted in 2017. Now, if the company’s Falcon 9 rocket goes outside prescribed bounds when launched from Cape Canaveral, it can activate its own self-destruct sequence.

No other US rocket has this capability yet, and it could open up new advantages for SpaceX: The US Air Force is considering launches to polar orbits from Cape Canaveral, but the flight path is only viable if the rockets don’t need to be tracked for range-safety reasons. That means SpaceX is the only company that could take advantage of the new corridor to space."
Elon Musk's SpaceX has a new advantage: Blowing up its own rocket, automatically — Quartz
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