Musk tweeted images of the football-field long platform. They plan to use GPS tracking, the rockets newly attached "X-wings," and other technology to help safely guide the multi-million-dollar Falcon 9 onto the platform."It's probably not more than a 50% chance or less of landing it on the platform," Musk said, still optimistic at the MIT AeroAstro Centennial Symposium. "But there's at least a dozen launches that will occur over the next 12 months, and I think it's quite likely, probably 80 to 90% likely, that one of those flights will be able to land and re-fly. So I think we're quite close."
That unit can reach up the landed F9 core a long way to attach tie down cables?
Quote from: PhilW on 12/17/2014 12:09 AMThat unit can reach up the landed F9 core a long way to attach tie down cables?No idea - but it probably doesn't have to reach up too far. It seems Teupen make cherry-pickers like this up to 50m reach, which would be a horribly unpleasant height to be at on a barge in the open ocean.By way of reminder, a sea-borne version of this is what is being planned here (from the Spacex Facebook page):
From the SpaceX blog: http://www.spacex.com/news/2014/12/16/x-marks-spot-falcon-9-attempts-ocean-platform-landing
Quote from: parham55 on 12/17/2014 02:06 AMFrom the SpaceX blog: http://www.spacex.com/news/2014/12/16/x-marks-spot-falcon-9-attempts-ocean-platform-landing"To complicate matters further, the landing site is limited in size and not entirely stationary. The autonomous spaceport drone ship is 300 by 100 feet, with wings that extend its width to 170 feet. While that may sound huge at first, to a Falcon 9 first stage coming from space, it seems very small. The legspan of the Falcon 9 first stage is about 70 feet and while the ship is equipped with powerful thrusters to help it stay in place, it is not actually anchored, so finding the bullseye becomes particularly tricky. During previous attempts, we could only expect a landing accuracy of within 10km. For this attempt, were targeting a landing accuracy of within 10 meters."
From the SpaceX blog: http://www.spacex.com/news/2014/12/16/x-marks-spot-falcon-9-attempts-ocean-platform-landingedit: added image
Also, the deck appears flat and not ramped at the ends. At least, not significantly ramped. Not enough to protect the gear and containers anyways.
With the Yellow wrap around low wall, maybe they plan to flood the deck 0.5m deep in sea water just before touchdown?