The Physics of SpaceX’s Wicked Double Booster Landing

You might think the coolest part of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy test was the Tesla with a spaceman riding inside, flying out into space. Yeah, sure, that part was cool. But for me, the best part was this footage of the Heavy’s two side boosters returning to the launch pad.

There are a bunch of cool physics things you can do with a video like this. For me, I’m going to answer two questions. First, how far away was this camera from the boosters when they turned on the engines? Second, what kind of acceleration did the boosters have while slowing down?

Watch the video above and be sure to have the sound on. Notice that you see the rockets turn on before you hear them? Actually, there are several sounds and I’m not exactly sure what each one is.

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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The Physics of SpaceX’s Wicked Double Booster Landing

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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