SpaceX Rocket Makes a Historic Vertical Landing

Tuesday, 22 December 2015 - 9:47AM
Science News
SpaceX
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 - 9:47AM
SpaceX Rocket Makes a Historic Vertical Landing
SpaceX is back! The space corporation just managed the historic feat of launching a rocket and then sending it back down to Earth to stick the landing, perfectly vertical and only a few miles from where it took off.


On June 28, a failed steel strut caused SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket to explode while on an (unmanned) resupply mission to the ISS. The explosion was a huge blow to the company, which had had a perfect safety record for seven years before that. This launch was the first since that setback, and was rescheduled from this past weekend to last night in order to ensure there wouldn't be any problems.

Last night, the upgraded Falcon 9 rocket, which had had 18 successful launches prior, took off from Cape Canaveral, traveled 125 miles into space, and then returned to land approximately 6 miles from the launch pad. The mission was considered to be a complete success. 


This is technically not the first time this feat has been accomplished; Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket became the first reusable rocket last month. But Falcon 9 is much larger than New Shepard and went twice as high, making it more of a landmark feat when it comes to reusing rockets that could be used for missions such as re-supplying the ISS.

Via BBC News.
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