New Space-Flight Awesomeness!

OK, we know what you’re thinking, and we’re
sorry. A couple of weeks ago, humanity reached a
new milestone in space-flight awesomeness, and we’re just now bringing it up. But, bear with us! On December 21st — for the very first time
— the private space-flight company SpaceX managed to land one of its rockets after boosting
11 satellites into orbit. It’s the first time in history that a booster
landed successfully after delivering its payload into orbit, and I’m pretty sure you could
hear the entire Internet cheering. We were cheering too! And we really wanted
to tell you all about it! But it was right around the holidays, so we
decided to wait until this week, because on January 17th, SpaceX is going to try it again–
this time, landing one of its Falcon 9 rockets on a ship in the ocean. The basic idea behind making rockets reusable
is pretty simple: Rockets are expensive, so it’d be nice if we didn’t have to keep
building them from scratch. The Space Shuttle program had its own solution
to this problem: solid rocket boosters that parachuted safely into the ocean once they
were done boosting. They were later refurbished and reused. But for the Falcon 9, landing is a lot more
complicated than attaching a couple of parachutes. Instead, SpaceX uses the rocket’s engines
to slow it down, stabilize it, and gently land it vertically in a particular spot — the
kind of landing that could someday be used on the Moon or Mars, too. And that might sound simple enough, but it
turns out to be incredibly difficult. The Falcon 9 is heavy, for one thing, and
it’s hard to control something that massive when it’s moving hundreds of meters per
second, and you’re fighting gravity at the same time. So the reusable rocket is designed to save
some of its fuel to help it slow down and position itself for landing. Plus, it has
stabilizing legs to land on, and a whole lot of software to keep everything coordinated. But the landing on the 17th is going to be
even trickier than last month’s. The mission for Falcon 9 is to launch Jason-3,
a satellite that’ll monitor Earth’s oceans. And once that’s on its way, SpaceX will
try to land the Falcon on what it calls a drone ship — basically a platform floating
in the middle of the ocean. Trouble is, if you’ve ever been on a boat,
you know that the ocean … wobbles. So this flight will show us if the rocket
can account for all the extra swaying. If it can, then we’re well on our way to
having a reusable launch system. And if it can’t, well … we can always
try again next time. There’s a lot riding on this landing, so
we’re all rootin’ for you, SpaceX! Now, that’s what’s happening with spaceflight
in our solar system. But what about space travelers in other star
systems? Even though we haven’t found any aliens
yet, according to a team of astronomers from Harvard and the Tata Institute of Fundamental
Research in Mumbai, there’s a new place we should be looking. Their idea, which they presented last week
at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society, is that alien civilizations could
be living inside globular clusters — clusters of very old stars at the outer edges of our
galaxy. Why hasn’t anyone thought to look there
before? Because we’ve barely found any planets in
those clusters. There are more than 150 globular clusters
in our galaxy, and we’ve only ever found one planet in any of them, known as Messier
4. The astronomers propose that there could be
plenty of planets out there in those clusters — but we just haven’t spotted them because
all the light from other stars is making it hard to see them. When the team modeled how the planets might
form within a cluster, they found that lots of them would probably end up in their stars’
habitable zones — areas where life as we know it could survive. Still, there are planets in habitable zones
all over the galaxy. So why should we look for signs of extraterrestrial life in globular
clusters? Well, if planets formed within these old star
clusters, and if life happened to evolve on one of them, it would have billions of years
to develop space travel — and have plenty of nearby stars to visit. Alien civilizations might even be sending
messages between different systems — which is exactly what we’d be listening for. So in our search for alien life, globular
clusters are back on the map. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow
Space News, and thanks to everyone who commented ‘Falcon 9, Falcon 9! Don’t forget about
Falcon 9!’ We didn’t forget, and we heard you. We’re so excited that you’re as excited
as we are. If you want to help us keep making episodes like this, just go to
And don’t forget to go to and subscribe!

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100 thoughts on “New Space-Flight Awesomeness!

  1. It YouTube, so people are rude and mean in the comments. But some of these are just unnecessary. You're awesome Caitlin! We love you! 🙂

  2. Ahhhhhhh….. Now let's see if Elon's prediction of space flight being 100x cheaper is accurate or not. Let's see, lets see….

  3. Uh, no. Rockets are cheap; rocket engines are expensive. Would be cheaper/reliable to simply parachute the engines for recovery/reuse, and ditch the rest.

  4. That last vid proved it beyond all doubt, SciShowSpace are government enthusiasts, not space enthusiasts. SpaceX landing was a massive blow to their CAPITALISM IS BAD philosophy. This stems from ignorance. A way to tell if you are succumbing to ignorance: answer this question of yourself: Am I experiencing anger, hate, disgust, or fear? If yes, you are wallowing in it.

  5. I'm having trouble warping my mind around the fact that there are planets and stars out there….just veryy far! like so FUCKING far

  6. Would have been nice to know what was the result of the Space X flight, ie The status of the rocket and if or when its next launch is. And a bit random jumping from rocket science to the search of Intelligent life form.

  7. There is a sci-fi tetralogy written by Juan Miguel Aguilera and Javier Redal located in a globular cluster. The theologians that life in this cluster affirm that life cannot develop outside a cluster because outside of it the stars with planet are a) too close to a black hole and it lethal radiation or b) too far away from other stars and The Lord will never punish a race He created to suffer such loneliness.

  8. no mention of the fact that this is just the first stage and that it's exactly what has already been done before with blue origins .. pretty sure they even flew to the same height (falcon 9 first stage and whole blue origin)

  9. For a person such as my self believing that Aliens have already visited earth watching this video when she talked about Alien civilizations was ironically funny.

  10. It's worth mentioning that SpaceX also tried retrieving some of it's first stages from the ocean using parachutes and engine power, but no matter how gently they landed the stage, it would always sustain unacceptable damage in addition to corrosion from seawater.

  11. This is an incredible achievement of science and engineering. However, making the booster reusable is NOT going to significantly lower the cost of launches. See, after fuel, maintenance, payload, etc. etc., really the only thing on that booster that is truly WORTH saving is maybe the engines. The shell of the booster itself is only a FRACTION of the total cost of the mission.

  12. If I had the money, I'd start a company that used Falcon 9 like technology to go out there and bring down old, no longer used satellites. Then you can salvage parts of it and sell them to collectors for a lot of money!

  13. Professor Tournesol (or Calculus in English) had already figured out how to do a vertical landing before Neil Armstrong did his famous step. I guess he is a forgotten genius.

  14. Rockets going into orbit then coming back to Earth then landing in the manner that is the reverse of taking off, i.e. 1950s science fiction rockets, wow, maybe the jetpack is not that far away anymore?

  15. So why can't they just use parachutes to recover the falcon 9 booster and why do they have to land it in the ocean? Can't u just time space flights so that u always can land on land?

  16. SpaceX fangirls are all over youtube with their whining.

    Anyway. I do hope SpaceX makes the landing on that floating boat. But I'll give them credit when they actually successfully do it(not to mention that they have to redo it with exactly the same first stage rocket again and again).

  17. The deployment was a success however the vertical landing on the ship was not. Per Elon Musk: "However, that was not what prevented it being good. Touchdown speed was ok, but a leg lockout didn't latch, so it tipped over after landing." Source:

  18. Big alien believer, but im not arguing about their existence. Iv always asked ppl : why does it seem that scientists and others searching for et life never talk about or take into account the lag time we see from earth to any planet. IT takes 8 minutes for the suns light to hit our eyes, so it would take insurmountably longer if it was coming from any other solar system. Theres a good chance we have SEEN a planet that harbors life, but the lag takes so long that when we see it, it was possibly from before they had technology and life on that planet was primitive. But no scientist ever seems to talk about this, not on any documentary ive seen debunking OR supporting life, and i fucking live alien documentaries

  19. Apparently landing the rocket on the drone ship is much harder than on earth. A lending leg broke upon landing and rapid unscheduled disassembly took place seconds later.

  20. Aaaand the landing on the platform in the ocean failed… back to the drawing board guys and gals.–365617441.html


  22. Well, as Elon said, the pieces are bigger this time… It looks like they had a fail of some sort with one leg. It got down fine and got stable and then the engine shut off, and then a couple of seconds later it toppled over. It LOOKS like one leg was not properly locked in place. It was not a failure in the landing, it landed just fine.

  23. Crazy how in cartoons it always seemed crazy that a rocket could land like that Such as the 50s-70s space race episodes in popular cartoons like Tom and Jerry I'm so happy

  24. I'm so excited! Space X did it, they successfully landed the rocket! To be fair it did immediately fall over because of a landing leg not locking in place, but had the landing leg functioned right, that rocket would have stayed upright. That means they can do it again!

  25. Why did you show a picture of the SS external tank when that was never recovered in order to talk about re-useable space vehicles?  Just show the SRB splashdown.

  26. Could someone explain how countless engineering hours, reduced payload capacity, and increased chances of catastrophic failure is cheaper than a sea recovery with parachutes? The only explanation is to gain knowledge for eventual exploration of mars.

  27. I don't know if you've actually listen to your voice on this but you got to slow down because it's just chitter chatter and I'm not sure if you're having to pay by the second for this YouTube video but you sound like you might want to go into auctioneering

  28. sorry are you bragging or complaining? you post some interesting topics but, but all we get are talking heads, how bout some visual aids IN your videos!

  29. Yeah….landing on a ship in the ocean didn't go so well for the Falcon 9… sorta blew up. Super close though. It landed, but at a goofy angle, so it fell over…and then blew up.

  30. technically Blue Origin from amazon was the first one to land a rocket and it was their first run. spaceX is breaking millions of dollars on test rockets.


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