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__NOTOC__{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
''Welcome to the Explain XKCD wiki!''
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<center>
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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
  
'''The latest comic is number [[1090]].'''
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We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
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    as well as [[List of all comics]], which is obviously not a comic page. -->
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and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}}
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({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)) / ({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9) * 100 round 0}}%)
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remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
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== Latest comic ==
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All the comic explanations (so far) are [[:Category:Comics|here]].
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== New here? ==
 
== New here? ==
Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the Explain XKCD wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [http://www.xkcd.com XKCD] web comic, it should be here.
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You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at [[explain xkcd]]. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [[xkcd]] web comic, it should be here.
  
If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate the wiki]], and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]].
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* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
  
Discussion about various parts of the wiki are going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
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* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
[[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all XKCD comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them!
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* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! [[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]].
  
 
== Rules ==
 
== Rules ==
Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations, feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
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Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
  
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its Discussion.
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If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
  
Please only submit material directly related to&mdash;and helping everyone better understand&mdash;xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users posting such are at risk of being blocked.
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Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.
  
 
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
 
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
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[[Category:Root category]]

Revision as of 05:35, 4 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained 5 xkcd comics, and only 1783 (35660%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Barge
My life goal is to launch a barge into the air and have it land on one of Elon Musk's rockets.
Title text: My life goal is to launch a barge into the air and have it land on one of Elon Musk's rockets.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Links to video of successful landing in barge and maybe also failed to show what this hobby may result in. Also if there are videos of this newest success

This is another one of the "My Hobby" series, where Randall tells about a strange hobby. This is probably the most destructive one so far, as it would result in the loss of nine space rocket engines.

The launch company SpaceX is currently testing a reusable rocket system, where the first rocket stage is capable of landing back on an autonomous spaceport drone ship after launch. The rockets guide themselves in to land by aiming towards a giant launch pad with the "X" from the SpaceX logo painted on it. Randall imagines creating a similar-looking barge and placing it near the intended landing site, except his barge's platform would be hollow in the middle with only a sheet of paper supporting the part where the rocket would land. Presumably the goal of this setup would be to trick a rocket into falling into the sea, similar to the old trapping pit. If a rocket attempts to land on Randall's barge, it will quickly burn through the paper (assuming the paper had not already been destroyed from being soaked by ocean spray) and, not having enough time or fuel to readjust its course, fall into the sea.

This hobby seems more appropriate for Black Hat, considering that he is a real classhole.

The title text plays on the incredible difficulty of successfully landing a rocket on a barge.  Such a feat has only recently become possible, some 60 years after the launch of Sputnik 1. Randall imagines an even more implausible idea of launching an entire barge into the air and have it land on the rocket. Launching a barge in the first place would be tremendously difficult - they are big, heavy and not very aerodynamic. Having one come down on top of a rocket would likely destroy the rocket as well - but it would be worth it for the spectacular explosion.

This comic was published on the week following SpaceX's Iridium 1 mission, where the first stage of the rocket which delivered 10 satellites into orbit successfully landed on a barge near California. It marked the seventh time SpaceX successfully landed and recovered its booster on a commercial mission.

Transcript

[There are one panel in this comic with the main drawing at the bottom. Two smaller drawings are inserted above this drawing to explain the idea.]
[The first insert shows a barge with no center and a large piece of paper with the SpaceX logo above the barge.]
[The second insert shows the paper stretched over the hole.]
[The main drawing at the bottom shows a cross-section of the barge in water, showing there is only water below the paper. Above the paper the large first stage, without the top part with the payload, of a reusable rocket is attempting to land on the paper on the SapceX logo (not visible in this view). It is still so high above the fake barge that the exhaust fire below the rocket is nowhere near the paper.]
[Caption below the panels:]
My hobby: Hollowing out the center of a barge, stretching paper over the hole painted with the SpaceX logo, and leaving it floating offshore near launch sites.


Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.

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