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View Diary: UPDATED: Quietly, SpaceX makes a revolutionary launch (67 comments)

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  •  man rating isn't tied to thrust, (6+ / 0-)

    it's usually some minimum structural margin,
    not much, remember, they man rated an Atlas 1 and that
    had balloon tanks.

    usually you need an auto-abort/failure detect system.

    •  Plus experience (4+ / 0-)

      and the ability to convince the buyers that the safety margins are > 99.5% (or whatever the new standard is/will be).

      Given the number of accidents and near misses between the space shuttle and Soyuz, I imagine many astronauts will be happy to fly w/ SpaceX.

      The space shuttle had many substantial but non-fatal failures before Challenger blew up (turbopump failures, seal failures, landing gear issues, ...). Soyuz has also had quite a large number. I strongly suspect that SpaceX will be more aggressively managing problems while they're still small, so they don't have big ones.

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