SpaceX Lands Booster on Drone Barge


FUCK! Once the Romulans see this we're screwed.
The landing starts at around minute 35
His engines are ready, clamps weak, fuel is heavy.
There's icing on his panels already, Elon's spaghetti.
Holy Fuck! What??
Yeah, when SpaceX and other commercial enterprises master this technology it will reduce the per-pound cost-to-orbit by literally orders of magnitude, which in turns means space will become even more accessible. In addition part of the Dragon's payload is a relatively low-cost inflatable habitat module developed by Bigelow Aerospace, which, if successful will further lower the hurdles. It may actually be possible that real, honest-to-goodness space tourism could become a reality in a matter of years instead of decades. It'll still be super-expensive, but it will serve to drive innovation and competition, and continue to push the price point down to the point where average people may actually be able to afford to travel off-world, if only for brief sojourns. But, it's a start to finally getting us permanently off this mud ball and out into the solar system, something that will become increasingly vital to our long-term survival as a species. I probably won't achieve my personal goal of floating on-orbit within my lifetime, but it could become a very real, not to mention common, occurrence for the Next Generation.
I'd like to get John's dragon erected vertically... hubba hubba!
Space X will NOT colonize Mars. We told them this when they came to ask our department at UW some years ago. Clearly they don't believe us, but their disbelief doesn't change the fact that Mars can't support human life. Now if Musk, Allen et al can figure out how to move Mars closer to the Sun, create an ocean, increase Mars' size so its gravity can hold on to this ocean and an atmosphere, seed it with life, wait a few hundred million years for its atmosphere to get thick enough and have enough oxygen in the proportion that we need to survive- then they can colonize Mars and humans can proceed to destroy a second planet.

However, unless we change our greenhouse gases producing, ocean and air polluting, ecosystems and food chain destroying ways completely here on Earth extremely quickly, humans will be extinct LONG before any extremophiles that might exist on Mars have to worry about us colonizing and wiping them out.
@7 - Hey, you might be right! But, on the other hand, you might be wrong. Personally, I'm much more interested in people who think about what might be possible than people who insist on what isn't. I'm sure you know that history is littered with people declaring things to be impossible that we now take for granted. Is it more arrogant to think you may be able to do something that's never been done before, or to think you know the limits of what's possible?

And can we stop with all this "humans destroying planets" stuff? This planet will not be destroyed by humans. We may very well destroy our ability to survive on it (and that of many other species), but this current eye-blink in Earth's history is no more significant to this big rock floating in the vastness of space than any other.
@7, I thought that "waitbutwhy" link was pretty illuminating.
@9: waitbutwhy is pretty amazing. I highly recommend The Bunny Manifesto in particular.