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SpaceX重新发射了回收的火箭,创造了历史

SpaceX relaunches a used rocket, makes history

虽然它现在看起来像全新的一样
So looking at it now, it looks brand new.
涂着一层新的涂层
It’s got a fresh coat of paint.
但从外观上你看不出来 这枚火箭已经去过太空了
You’d never know that it’s already been to space.
现在是当地早晨6点
So it is six in the morning.
我们正赶去见一个和火箭打交道的人
And we are on our way to see a man about a rocket.
现在我们在肯尼迪航天中心 不久我们将会看到这枚SpaceX公司的猎鹰9号火箭的发射
We are here at Kennedy Space Center to see another SpaceX Falcon 9 launch.
对于这儿 这只是一次很普通的发射 但这次发射和以往有些不同
It’s a pretty standard launch for them, but that’s kinda the point.
这次的卫星来自于欧洲卫星公司
They are sending up a satellite for the company SES,
让这次发射变得尤为特别的是
but what’s extra special about this launch
这已经不是这枚猎鹰9号火箭第一次去太空了!
is that this Falcon 9 has already been to space!
而这正是SpaceX在过去两年里不断努力尝试让火箭着陆的结果
This is basically the entire point of SpaceX landing all of it’s rockets for the last two years.
他们不断尝试 尽可能使这种可复用的火箭趋于完美
They are trying to perfect reusable rockets.
那么到底什么是可复用性呢?
So what is reusability?
简单的说就像它的字面意思:一枚火箭在发射后可以被重复使用
Well it’s just like it sounds: it’s reusing your rocket after launching it.
这看起来很简单
Seems pretty straightforward,
但实际上从火箭诞生以来 使用一次性火箭已经或多或少成为一种常态
but expendable rockets have been more or less than norm since the beginning of rocketry.
毫不夸张地说 一旦火箭升空 它基本就被当作垃圾了
Once a rocket takes off, it’s essentially treated like trash.
部分火箭要么留在太空 要么坠回地球 解体落入海洋
Parts of it either stay up in space or fall away to Earth and break apart in the ocean.
这种方式的问题在于 每次发射都会浪费巨大的投入
The problem with that is that you’re throwing away a very expensive investment with each launch.
要知道 火箭的造价通常高达几千万到数亿美元
Rockets cost tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to make.
而对于每次发射都需要一枚全新的火箭
And with each new mission, you have to make an entirely new rocket.
但如果能重复利用火箭中某些造价高昂的部件
But reusing rockets — especially the most expensive parts
像发动机和燃料箱 便可以大大降低火箭的造价
like the engines and the propellant tanks can help reduce those hefty costs.
但这并不是仅仅把火箭从太空带回来那么简单
But it’s not so simple as just bringing your rocket back from space.
火箭为了进入指定轨道需要达到非常快的速度
In order for a rocket to get to orbit, it has to go incredibly fast
通常要达到每小时数千英里的速度
— thousands of miles per hour fast.
为了达到你所说的轨道速度
To achieve orbital velocity you’re talking about,
也就是每秒7.5公里
you know, 7.5 kilometers per second
那真的 呃 不是一般的快
which is, ah, wicked fast.
而为了将一个那样速度的物体带回来
And to bring something back from those speeds,
你必须逆转这一过程
you have to kind of reverse the process.
也就是说你得降低高速运动物体的能量
So you have to get rid of all that energy,
这意味着 高温 高压 急剧减速等许多问题需要被解决
which means a lot of heat, a lot of deceleration, a lot of pressure that all has to be managed.
虽然有很多技术可以将运载工具从太空带回来
There are a lot of techniques for bringing back vehicles from space,
比如:航天飞机所使用的机翼或降落伞
such as using wings like the Space Shuttle or parachutes.
但SpaceX所使用的是一种叫做超音速反推进技术
But what SpaceX is using is a technique called supersonic retropropulsion.
这种技术基于火箭原有的推进系统
It’s basically using the rocket’s propulsion system
使推进系统不仅可以让火箭升空 还能把火箭带回来
— what takes the vehicle up to bring it back down again.
SpaceX其实不是把整个火箭而只把第一级火箭回收
SpaceX doesn’t save the entire rocket though, it saves the first stage
—— 那有着14层高 装着火箭主要的发动机和大多数燃料的部分
— the 14-story core of the Falcon 9 that holds the main engines and most of the fuel.
一旦火箭的第一级与火箭顶端分离
Once the first stage separates from the top of the rocket,
它将会在控制下返回地球
it makes a controlled fall back to Earth.
发射所剩余的燃料被用于重新点燃火箭发动机内的燃烧过程
Fuel leftover from the launch is used to reignite the engines on the rocket in a series of burns,
从而实现让火箭重返大气层并减速着陆
to help the vehicle reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and then slow down for landing.
火箭上的栅格翼可以引导火箭降落
Grid fins attached to the rocket help to steer it during the descent.
它的优势在于 对于更大的火箭只需等比放大栅格翼
A big benefit of this method is that it can be scaled up if you want to build a bigger rocket
——这无疑正是SpaceX所需要的
— which SpaceX definitely wants to do.
新型的猎鹰重型火箭将把3个猎鹰9号第一级绑在一起
The future Falcon Heavy is basically three Falcon 9 cores strapped together.
而所有这一部分都将被设计成可回收的
And all three are designed to come back to Earth.
SpaceX之前一共尝试过13次火箭回收
SpaceX has tried landing 13 of it’s rockets.
其中有8枚被成功回收了
And so far, 8 of them have touched down successfully.
这是他们成功回收的第二枚火箭
This ones the second one they’ve ever landed,
去年四月它将一批货物和补给送上了国际空间站
it sent cargo and supplies to the International Space Station in April of last year.
然后返回并实现了第一次在海上遥控船上的着陆
And then it returned and made the first ever drone ship landing.
现在他们准备将这整个过程再重复一遍
And now they’re going to try that whole process again.
这是这枚火箭第二次尝试在遥控船上着陆
This one is going to attempt a drone ship landing for the second time.
这次的发射任务对于SpaceX已经习以为常了
This is a pretty straightforward launch for SpaceX.
这枚火箭将携带欧洲卫星公司的一枚卫星
It is sending up a satellite for the company SES, which is based out of Luxembourg.
这家总部位于卢森堡的卫星公司曾公开表示
And SES has been very vocal
想要成为这种助推火箭的第一批使用者
about wanting to be the first ones to fly on a flown booster.
而且他们对于这种火箭信心十足
And they’re pretty confident that its gonna go just fine.
我们对它进行过测试
We’ve tested this thing.
我们运行过其中的发动机
We’ve run these engines up.
我们检查过火箭的结构
We’ve looked at the airframe.
我们检查过这种火箭不同于传统火箭的所有部件
We’ve looked at all the various different components on this thing.
一切都运行的很好
And this thing is good to go.
我不认为我们做这件事是冒着过度的风险
We don’t believe we’re taking an inordinate risk here.
许多人拿这种火箭去和飞机比
A lot of people compare it to flying a plane, right?
就像一架飞机在从纽约飞往洛杉矶后你不会就这样把它丢弃
You wouldn’t want to throw away your plane after it flies from New York to Los Angeles.
当然飞机不用飞入太空再返回
Of course, a plane doesn’t have to go to space and back.
飞机也不用像火箭一样需要应对各种恶劣的环境
It doesn’t have to deal with the same environmental conditions as a rocket.
助推火箭的所有的部件
Each one of these stages
——燃料罐 火箭的结构 发动机
– the tanks, the structure, the engines themselves
在再次飞行前 它们都会由原先安装它们的人检查
— they’re going to have to be inspected by the same people that built them in the first place,
并可能做一些地面测试以确保飞行顺利
requalified for flight, probably through some ground based testing before they go again.
所以我们不仅仅是把助推火箭回收
So we’re not talking about landing a first stage
然后在几小时或是几分钟内让它再次发射
and then within hours or minutes, launching that first stage again.
此外 这些回收的助推火箭并不会被一直使用
Plus, these stages won’t last forever.
SpaceX的CEO埃隆·马斯克说猎鹰9号火箭的部分零件可以使用多达100次
CEO Elon Musk has said that parts of the Falcon 9 can be used up to 100 times,
但实际中同一枚助推火箭只会被使用10到20次
but he expects between 10 to 20 relaunches for a single stage.
然而 如果火箭的翻新费用只有几百万美元
However if refurbishment costs are only about a few millions of dollars,
那么SpaceX便可以省下一部分开销
then SpaceX could see some cost savings.
单单就发射过程而言 最主要开销就是在推进火箭上的花费
The most expensive part of a whole mission from a launch standpoint is the boost stage.
它在发射费用中所占比例可达百分之七十 根据计算方法的不同可能会有所不同
It represents, depending on how you count it, up to 70% of the cost of the flight.
SpaceX总裁格温·肖特维尔预计可以为顾客节省百分之三十的发射费用
SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell says that she expects a 30 percent savings for customers
通过使用这种可回收火箭
that launch on re-used rockets.
尽管SpaceX暂时只提供百分之十的折扣
Though SpaceX is only offering discounts on the order of 10 percent for the time being.
我们的确享有一定的折扣我们选择它当然也有一定的利益因素
We did receive a discount, obviously to fly this there was some interest
不否认利益是驱使我们选择它的因素之一
and there was some incentive to do so.
但在这件事中不仅仅单纯是钱的问题
But it is not just the money in this particular case.
我们是真的想推动这一概念的实现
It’s really, let’s get this proof of concept moving.
总得有人做这一领域第一个吃螃蟹的人
Someone has to go first here.
尽管如此 但当我们说到上百万美元 那也是省下了一笔不小的开支
Still when we’re talking about millions of dollars, that’s not an insignificant price dip.
不管怎么说 对于尤其像航空工业这种成本高昂的行业
And any way we can lower costs — especially for an industry as expensive as aerospace
降低成本就意味着更多公司可以长期投资于此
— means more companies can invest in space in the long-term.
航空研究长期以来一直认为
It’s long been believed by the space community
如果我们可以实现火箭的再利用
that if we can make our rockets reusable,
那将大大降低我们去太空的费用
we could greatly reduce the cost of access to space,
也将使航空技术惠及更多的人
we could open the space frontier.
我的天哪
Oh my goodness.
广播:猎鹰9号发射准备完毕
Announcer: Falcon 9 configured for flight.
倒计时 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
T-minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
猎鹰9号的发射
Liftoff of Falcon 9
是史上第一次对同一枚轨道火箭进行再次发射
—— the world’s first reflight of an orbital class rocket.
猎鹰9号已飞离发射塔
Falcon 9 has cleared the towers.
喔!
Woo!
(火箭轰鸣声)
(roar of the rocket)
(火箭轰鸣声) 我的天! 它又一次升天了!
(roar of the rocket) Oh my God! Its flying again!
我的天呐
Oh my Gosh.
今天真是晴空万里啊
And it is a crystal clear blue day today.
广播:目前为止搭载SES-10号卫星的猎鹰9号火箭的发射一切顺利
Announcer: So what we have so far is a successful launch of Falcon 9 carrying SES-10.
从左边画面我们可以看到火箭的第一级已经与第二级分离
First stage has separated from second stage that is what you see on the left hand side of your screen.
那就是即将再次返回地球的第一级火箭
That’s the first stage coming back down once again.
这是我们第二次发射它
This is the second time we’ve launched it.
这也是我们第二次尝试让它在海上无人船上着陆
This is the second time we’re attempting to land it on a drone ship.
我们花了15年走到这一步
It’s been 15 years to get to this point.
这花费了我们很长时间
Takin us a long time.
虽然这一过程中我们经历了非常非常多的困难
Um, a lot of, lot of difficult steps along the way,
但我为SpaceX团队感到非常自豪
but, um, I’m just incredibly proud of the SpaceX team
为他们取得航空史上这样一个里程碑式的成就感到骄傲
to be able to achieve this incredible milestone in the history of space.
我们可能还不能确定可回收火箭会带来的经济影响
We still don’t really know the economic implications of reusable rockets yet,
但不管怎样 这都将是航天工业史上的一个分水岭
but no matter what, this is a watershed moment for the aerospace industry.
垂直起降的轨道火箭之前从没有过第二次发射的记录
Vertical take off rocket that can achieve orbit has never really launched for a second time before
不管怎么说 这的确是航空史上历史性的一刻
so no matter what, this is a really historic moment for the space industry.
火箭!
Rockets!

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视频概述

本视频简单地介绍了SpaceX的新型火箭和有关各方对其的看法

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WeiRan

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Eeklq1IAvQ

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