SpaceX and their Amazing Failures

There are some words that are loaded. Amazing is one of them. When you say something is an “Amazing Failure” that might suggest that the failure itself is laughable or unacceptable. That it dumbfounds you that someone could fail at a task. I mean it in the more literal sense, that these failures left me amazed. Not because they happened but because of how nearly they didn’t. SpaceX is run by Elon Musk, the guy behind Tesla, and the work they are doing is just blowing my flipping mind.

The Earth is huge. Much larger than anyone can actually imagine. You can write the numbers out, you can even show “relative” balls to talk about “This is the earth and this is the moon”. But the genuine size of the Earth is beyond human comprehension. Your brain (and mine) can barely comprehend the literal size of our own homes. The Earth is so large that at nearly any height from the surface these houses that already daunt us become invisible.

Then the roads and with enough distance the cities. Take a look at this shot on the NASA website. Presuming they haven’t changed the page you’ll be looking at Earth from the International Space Station. You’ll notice that you can see the ocean, and clouds, but humanity is utterly invisible. Admittedly they are (likely) over the Pacific Ocean but the point remains. In all photos of Earth that feature our cities what you see is the light from the cities. The actual structures are fuzzy at best. Easily mistaken for flakes of debris on the inside of the stations windows.

Sending a rocket up into space and then landing the remainder of it back on Earth is a pretty incredible thing to be trying to do. But that’s not even what SpaceX is trying to do. They are trying to land a rocket on a barge in the middle of the water. Water notoriously has a bad habit of moving. It’s always in motion up and down, left and right. The barge too is unlikely to be stationary. Any change in weather will create even more turbulence both in the air and in the sea.

An invisible barge, amid a churning body of water, being landed on by an invisible stick that fell from space. All these things blow my mind. When you watch it and see just how close they came. This is the kind of stuff that should make everyone happy. To see humanity accomplishing such amazing things. Elon Musk is a lot like Tony Stark, minus the whole selling military weapons to the government (thus far). What he and his team have accomplished is something that I think everyone should be watching.

Every one of their failures is amazing. They defy every little bit of sense I have (and all the sense I don’t). To think that something like this could even be nearly accomplished at this point in my life is pretty tough to believe. I look forward to their future attempts and I hope their investors [presuming they have them] are aware of the astounding things they are doing.

[Their next attempt is supposedly going to happen on land. I suspect that’ll be easy mode compared to this dark souls level difficulty.]

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