Of Rockets and Barges #writing101

“Hey…what’s that?”
“What’s what?”
“That…out there.”
“It’s a barge.”
“I know it’s a barge, but it’s…you know…different.”
“I know it is.”
“Why?”
“Why what?”
“Why’s it different?”
“Would you get back to work please?”
“I will, I will, just tell me what it’s for.”
“They’re gonna land a rocket on it.”
“What?”
“They’re gonna land a rocket on the middle of that barge.”
“What…on that ‘X’ there?”
“Yep.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yep, they talked about it on the news.”
“Really?”
“Yep. Would you watch what you’re doin’ please? You almost broke that.”
“Oh…sorry. That’s not what they’re for.”
“What?”
“That’s not what barges are for…nor rockets for that matter.”
“I know.”
“Why?”
“Why what?”
“Confound it! Why are they landing a rocket on a barge?”
“To save money.”
“To save money? How?”

English: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon s...

English: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft lift off from Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 10:43 a.m. EST, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“(Sigh) OK, they launch something into space with the rocket, then they fly the rocket back down and land it on the barge. Then the barge brings the rocket back and it hops on over back to a landing pad, then they move it to a launch pad, then they refuel the rocket and launch something else into space with it.”
“Wow. How much does the rocket cost?”
“‘Bout sixty million.”
“What? Dollars?”
“No Pesos! Of course Dollars!”
“That’s a lot of money.”
“Not really, but the fuel is only ’bout two-hundred grand.”
“OK, so let me get this straight. They build a rocket for sixty million, launch it, and then bring it back and launch it again for just a couple hundred K?”
“Well, sort of. It’s quite a bit more complicated than that…but…ya. That’s the general idea. Eventually they’ll skip the barge and just land it on land. They need to practice out at sea first.”
“I see. Isn’t stuff like that supposed to cost, like, billions of dollars?”
“Not anymore.”
“Hmm, times they are a changin’.”
“Yep.”
“Hey! Maybe, if it gets cheap enough, maybe you and I can go to space.”
“Not if we don’t get this work done. Hey, don’t sit on that!”
“Oh…sorry. You know lots of stuff, Elon.”
“Yep.”

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~ by Bill Housley on April 13, 2015.

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