Some of my Facebook friends get all giddy about the SpaceX rocket landing in a barge and amazed at its precision. Some even called it the greatest thing in space travel and it got me thinking, really? OK, the launcher was recovered, that’s great, but precision? This thing barely broke out of the Earth’s atmosphere.
I looked into the splashdown of the Apollo spacecrafts. The moon mission that was the most accurate in hitting the designated splashdown point was Apollo 16 (0.55 miles) and the less accurate was Apollo 12 (5 miles). The distance between the Earth and the Moon is
230.100 230,100 miles or for M.O.A. calculations, 404,976,000 yards. According to the formula, the MOA for a Apollo spaceship splashdown should have been 4.240,098.72 yards or roughly 2,409 miles.
Apollo 12 had an M.O.A. of 0.00207. Apollo 16 was almost ten times less. (Do check my math. I have been wrong before.)
And that was a space program run with less computing power than the cheapest smart phone in the market and most of the engineers used slide rules to do the math and calculus.
So, no. Not impressed just yet with SpaceX.