Watch SpaceX Seamlessly Land a Reused Falcon 9 Rocket
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, aka Elon Musk's SpaceX, is known for being one of the few American companies that manufacture and launch rockets. And they just recently made headlines for landing a previously used Falcon 9 rocket, in a field where rockets are typically one-use only, although much of that landing footage wasn't available at first.
Falcon 9 is the first rocket to have been developed exclusively in the 21st century, making it new and very shiny - it's designed to complete missions even if the engines shutdown, and to hopefully deliver humans into space someday (it also made the record for being the first commercial company rocket to visit the International Space Station). Although the original live feed of the landing cut out last week, SpaceX has updated Instagram with a striking close-up. The Falcon 9 lands directly on a droneship without so much as a hiccup.
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Part of the reason this landing is so ground-breaking is because the Falcon 9 was recycled, so to say. This is the first time SpaceX has relaunched one of its recovered rockets. The company seeks to explore reusability and the video would suggest there's no problem with that, at least when it comes to smooth landings.
According to Space News, SpaceX saw substantial savings by reusing the Falcon 9. President Gwynne Shotwell announced at the 33rd Space Symposium that the refurbishing of the Falcon 9 cost less than half of what it would to have build a new rocket. The ability to reuse rockets maximizes the opportunity to push funds into new research areas, which means SpaceX could get more done in less time.
Shotwell says she won't be satisfied until SpaceX can turnaround a rocket as quickly as an airplane; her goal is to refly a rocket within 24 hours. Well, as they say, the sky's the limit.
Via: The Verge