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April 14, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Stars. Wobbly floaties. Woozy rolls.

You are bound to remember. (Rocket scientists did.) Summer pools, inflatable rafts, and a cool idea.

Toss that pretend floating island into the sparking-like-stars water.

Then run. Fast. Before the “No running!” whistles blew) with a great leap and less than graceful attempted landing onto the float. A successful splashdown – one without hitting pool side, or other kids – was a thing of wonder. Worth the lifeguard scowls.

And parents who said “If you bust that one, you’re not getting another” before they went back to reading their books.

1950's. girl swimming pool. Deutsche Fotothek/Saxon State Lib/SLUB/

Wow! Did you see me stick that perfect float landing? (1950’sDeutsche Fotothek/Saxon State Lib/SLUB/

Inspired by childs’ play, SpaceX’s reusable rocket uses the same technique – with a little new technology. 

Landing from a iffy-controlled fall onto a floating target – whether a kid at a pool or a rocket in the ocean – isn’t easy peasy.

Weather cooperating, SpaceX  plans to launch an unmanned Dragon space capsule to International Space Station powered by their Falcon 9 rocket.

This will be their third attempt to land a returning rocket on a barge. (Maybe paint Mickey Mouse on the barge instead of a “Land Here X”? Falcons can target a meal miles away. Channel that spirit animal.)

The first Falcon 9 crashed. (Remember how that little kid was in such a hurry to launch himself into the pool before the life guard could grab him but he slipped. Crashing, cement pool burns, and a bloody lip? Like that.)

The second Falcon 9 faced bad weather and high seas, so it splashed down for a water recovery. (There was always a big loud kid and his group at the pool that hated you. A soon as you’d leap into the air towards the raft, they would kick and splash up a storm so the raft would buck and dart out of place leaving you without the planned docking spot. Jeers and humiliation. Just the same. Exactly.)

girls on beach 1920-30's/Flickr/freeparking/

“Did you see that geeky guy spin around trip over his own swim fins when we walked by? Don’t worry. His tooth only looks a bit loose. He thinks we care if he can land on that float or not. Let’s all look away at once when he starts running the next time.” (Flickr/freeparking/

An “out-of-the-raft thinker”yourself  treading water trying to keep up with SpaceX?

SpaceX really shouldn’t be upset with their rocket recover battles. Landing on dancing waters is an ambitious plan.

SpaceX's ocean landing platform. (Techcrunch)

Still sayin’. Feed the falcon brain and paint on a bunny or squirrel. (SpaceX’s ocean landing platform.Techcrunch)

Some can’t even manage ordinary landings on flat land holding still.

Monday an early United flight to Houston’s IAH airport got that sinking feeling as all wheels and landing gears ended up in the mud.

It was before dawn and terribly rainy. Sounds like they bumped down as usual, then were unable to get traction enough to hold it in the center of the runway, so it skied off into the mud.

And sat down just like a nervous bunny hill skier.

While at a tilt, no one hurt, but all luggage stuck inside (even 12 hours later)

Did I mention it was an early morning flight from Vegas?

Vegas-type Show Girl. 1916.Ziegfeld Follies.Lilyan Tashman/

Carefully avoiding rough landings. (

Somebody has to say it “What happens in Vegas…….”

A little sleepy? Pre-dawn flight. Lack of sleep. Nothing else implied.

Some barely awake might have worried at first that the tilting plane aisle’s was caused by one last Bloody Mary at the airport.

Hopefully there was no permanent damage caused by mascara brushes or lipstick tubes.

  • VIDEO. “United Airlines plane gets stuck at Bush IAH” Passengers talk. (KPRC/NBC local news. It’s been 12 hours. It’s still stuck. So is their luggage.)
  • It is so not the pilot’s fault. Seriously. Maybe the plane just thought the grass was greener.
United plane stuck in mud at IAH. image: @instragram:mrszargarpur/

“Day after day, the same boring route crammed with self-centered passengers. Already stuck in a rut.”(image: @instragram:mrszargarpur)

The starry skies are friendly, it’s just the landings that are hard.

Dragons, falcons, and passengers know.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

If anyone knows about splashdowns, it’s Esther Williams. Talks about extravaganzas.


  1. easyweimaraner / Apr 14 2015 4:32 pm

    I only use an aiplane if there is no other way…I’m a chicken, I know :o)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 14 2015 7:00 pm

      DOg trot works well enough for places that matter, Easy! Paw waves from Molly and thanks for woofing along


  2. Ally Bean / Apr 14 2015 6:23 pm

    I’m confused. Why is NASA trying to land something on a large floating thingie in the ocean? Splish, splash, aren’t water landings a good thing? What am I not understanding here?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 14 2015 7:10 pm

      NASA ain’t doin’ nuthin’. Private companies, like SpaceX, are pushing space exploration/development now. NASA still has the space station and has to hire out rides for supplies and astronauts. SpaceX has a contract to ferry supplies.
      NASA realized dumping rockets used to power space capsule into space before falling off after launch only to sink into the ocean was a huge waste of money as the rockets were often a one use item that way. Water wrecks electronics. (and who wants water in their fuel tanks? Had a car with that once – ugh!)
      SpaceX is trying to land their returning rockets onto the platform so they can quickly be recovered, refitted/refreshed, and be ready to use again quickly. Neat trick if they can pull it off.
      Can’t wait for the tourists’ space trips…I’m going to set up a hot dog/nacho/beer stand/observation deck nearby. Thanks for swimming by with a comment.


      • Ally Bean / Apr 14 2015 9:06 pm

        Okay, now I get it. Something to be said for re-using old rockets, but as a kid who liked to jump into the pool trying with all my might to land on an inflatable float, I dunno. I like your entrepreneurial idea. Your retirement plan, perhaps? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 14 2015 9:43 pm

          If they can do it, it’ll be a marvel – and save tones of money…but trying to land on a float in a pool – lots of water up the nose.
          Everyone loves nachos…maybe I can have to go meals like at airports….of course cheese might be messy in outer space….have a few years to perfect the menu, but can;t think of a better way to spend old age than watching rockets and people.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. PiedType / Apr 14 2015 7:57 pm

    Oh, thanks for the heads up! I dropped in just in time to watch the broadcast 15 minutes from now. Are they going to broadcast the landing too? I’ll have to check for when that is.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Littlesundog / Apr 14 2015 8:29 pm

    I’ll come tailgating at the hot dog/nacho/beer stand/observation deck when the civilian space trips begin. I guess you have prime location for that? I’d rather stay rooted on land, thank you very much!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. heretherebespiders / Apr 14 2015 9:27 pm

    I watched the launch live -as live as I could what with my dreadful connection these days. Good thing I suffered through dial-up or I’d be more cranky! Anyhoo, I don’t know when the landing is meant to be – do you?

    Your muddy landing didn’t make international news – must have gotten bogged down.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. roughseasinthemed / Apr 14 2015 10:54 pm

    It’s not chaseable, it’s not edible, or comfy for sleeps so the vote from here is it doesn’t matter. Sleepy snoozes.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 15 2015 7:59 pm

      The swimming tanks at the play field are open and Molly is already making use of them (which is good, she’s a lot cleaner when we come home now). She thinks she could easily land on a float from a flying leap off the platform (and probably surf across the pool and step out on dry land) We haven’t mentioned possible issues with her tough nails driving down upon impact. German here for a few days and both asleep with chins on window sills. So I’ll wave to Snowy and Pippa for them!


  7. marthaschaefer / Apr 14 2015 11:30 pm

    Not to mention the sleepy baggage handlers who wake up grumpy in the cargo hold! Air travel just aint what it used to be…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 15 2015 8:14 pm

      If, you’re gonna sleep on the job, find a spot that doesn’t move!Can you believe that guy? Whew. It may have been “temp controlled” but that doesn’t mean warm…and then there’s the oxygen concern. He was lucky the skies were friendly. Thanks for soaring in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  8. aFrankAngle / Apr 15 2015 6:32 pm

    Didn’t see the launch … but anticipate that a gnome placed an X just off the runaway for the United pilot. Great Esther Williams video.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 15 2015 8:28 pm

      You may be right about the gnome. That make sense…everyone was a little bleary so early in all that rain. That era had some glorious productions. Animation and modern special effect are fascinating, but all those precise swimmers and water designs, pretty remarkable. Thanks for splashing a comment this way

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Kourtney Heintz / Apr 16 2015 9:28 pm

    You make me long for summer time and the cannonballs of my childhood. Those were so fun. Trying to get as many poolside adults wet in one leap. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 16 2015 11:47 pm

      Oh, you are so right. Especially if your big brother was trying to impress someone. When I saw that floating platform target, all I could think of was trying to land on a float in a pool…scientist are still using childhood experiences. Smart. Thanks for splashing down here to chat


  10. jmmcdowell / Apr 21 2015 8:02 pm

    The plane in the mud reminds me of the time Air Force 2 had some difficulties with a runway in Illinois. 🙂 Here’s hoping SpaceX has a better run of luck soon!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 22 2015 5:39 pm

      Well, they hit the “X” this time. Just too hard and it fell over denting the rocket. Not having great success as a kid landing on the float, the whole concept is mind boggling to me – but how much fun, Thanks for landing here with a comment


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