07 Apr 2017

Space-X video marks historic milestone and all we can think of is Iain M Banks

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Rocket coming down, not going up Rocket coming down, not going up Space X

Well, not quite. There were several things that leapt to our mind when we saw the video Space-X released of its reused Falcon 9 rocket landing on a droneship in the Mid-Atlantic.

The first was that this is very cool. We never really get tired of watching rockets descend on a pillar of flame rather than ascending on one.

The second was that this is a great illustration of why sometimes you really need a camera that doesn't suffer from rolling shutter!

The third was that this really is a historic moment for spaceflight: the ability to deploy reusable rockets to climb out of the gravity well changes the economics of all this quite markedly.

And lastly, we really hope Elon Musk keeps using Iain M Banks ship names. The Space X droneship the rocket landed on in the middle of the Atlantic was called the 'Of Course I Still Love You', whereas Musk has also christened the droneship that patrols the Pacific and hoovers up launches from Vandenberg the 'Just Read The Instructions'.

Those familiar with the much-missed Banks' Culture novels will know that the artificial intelligences, the Minds, that control his giant spacecraft tend to have their own idiosyncratic thoughts when it comes to naming themselves and, as this Wikipedia list illustrates, there are some absolute pearlers in there that would liven up many a space program. "This is the What Are The Civilian Applications? coming in to dock with the Frank Exchange Of Views," and many other combinations are available. 

Probably wise to steer clear of the Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall, though, all things considered...


Andy Stout

Andy is Deputy Editor of RedShark. He has spent over two decades writing about all aspects of the broadcast and film industries for a variety of high-profile industry publications on both sides of the Atlantic. During that time the industry has moved from 4:3 SD to 16:9 SD to HD and now on to 4K HDR. He's getting kind of curious to see where it goes next.

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