Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Day 2: On Dr. Evil's Island

We spent the day today on the island where the rocket will launch from. It's several miles from Kwaj by boat. The island was once used as a launch pad during the cold war but since had been overtaken by brush and trees.

If you've seen Austin Powers, then you know what I mean by Dr. Evil. Truthfully, Austin Powers was a spoof of so many of the same movie: megalomaniac wants to take over the world. The first step of course being finding a remote island and building one of the various "world conquering" rockets.

Example of what could be a the first step towards "World Domination"

Thousands of Gallons of Liquid Oxygen. A typical target of sabotage in a James Bond movie.

The plastic bucket at the base of the rocket engine is just one of the many innovations at Spacex.

When Spacex leased the island, the first thing they did was cut it down some of the brush to open land. Then they poured concrete down, and presto: instant launch pad. Sounds easy, except that almost every piece of equipment needs to be brought in over 5,000 miles by boat. You look at a truck a little differently when you know it's the only truck. As in, it's the only truck.

Did I mention we're in the middle of nowhere:

The middle of nowhere

The team spent today attaching the final piece of the rocket: the chamber. that's the cone-like thing that goes on the bottom of the rocket. It looks kind of like a big bullhorn.

The chamber has been signed by the guys who built it.

Me and Elon at the rocket

The Rocket at Dusk

It's been a cool day. Rockets and islands. Hard to beat it.

Happy Thanksgiving and see you tomorrow.


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