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Aerospace/Aviation/space-x booster rocket recovery


My heart sinks every time I watch a falcon -9 attempt to land on barg at sea and it tips over and blows up. Would it not be possible to have a system of cables or ropes positioned around the edges of the barge in a kind of "cats cradle" that could adjust quickly from a large opening to one that closed around the end of the booster to not only steady it from falling but even pull it erect to a stable position? The configuration of ropes would be at maybe two thirds up the length of the rockets fuselage. They might be arranged in a square pattern (apature) that could open or close at a high rate of speed to engage the rocket end just as it started to settle on the barge and cut engines thrust. The ropes or cables could be reeled onto pulleys attached on actuated swing arms at each corner of the barge. The swing arms would allow the capturing square to be moved to any position the rocket should touch down on. Perhaps only four ropes might be required. While two reels would take up slack the reels opposite them would let out the correct amount to adjust the square capture apature  to engage the rocket. Another two ropes at right angles to it would also be quickly doing the same thing to complete the square "trap". Of course there would have to be computer controlled motors (winches) and sensors to detect and regulate rope tension so as not to damage the boosters fuselage. The sensors coupled with a computerized system to "know" where the capture apature is located in relation to the boosters location on the barge will be necessary. There will also of course have to be a system to locate the rocket as it descends and its attitude "tilt" for a corrective action at touchdown. Do you think a system like this could be coupled with the boosters deployed "landing legs" might give the boosters a better chance of vstaying upright for a successful recovery? In closing I want to say that the anti spam chactotors displayed in the box are so blurry and indistinguishable im not sure I'm reading them right.

While it would be possible, the same money and effort would just as well be spent perfecting the landing system. Part of the long range goal of the project is to eventually automate landings on earth, moon, mars, and comets where there would not be other safety facilities.


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J. Zumwalt


Aeronautical Engineer, Pilot & Air-frame & Power-plant mechanic (A&P), Current president of EAA (experimental Aircraft Association) chapter 837 (Payette, ID), Past instructor, computers, robotics and aviation, Past Director of Maintenance (two airlines), Past Continental Airlines shift supervisor (Anchorage, Alaska)


FAA certified commercial pilot FAA certified (A&P) Air-frame & Power-plant mechanic Aeronautical Engineer - University of Anchorage (Alaska) High school instructor, computers, robotics and aviation Current president of EAA chapter 837 (Payette, ID) Past Director of Maintenance (two airlines) Past Continental Airlines maintenance shift supervisor (Anchorage, Alaska)

Current president of EAA chapter 837 (Payette, ID)

FAA certified commercial pilot FAA certified (A&P) Airframe & Powerplant mechanic Aeronautical Engineer - University of Anchorage (Alaska) FCC MROP-Marine Radio Operators License FCC GROL-General Radio Operators License FCC RADAR endorsement GEN FAM certificates MD aircraft GEN FAM certificates Boeing aircraft State Instructor License High school instructor, computers, robotics and aviation

Past/Present Clients
Continental Airlines, University of Anchorage, Pegasus Aircraft Maintenance, Klondike Air, Methow aviation, Bridget Mina infant Foundation, Aviation Wholesale Supply, Bureau of Land Managment

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