Watch: SpaceX Comes Tantalizingly Close to Landing a Falcon 9 Rocket on a Barge

Thursday, 16 April 2015 - 11:16AM
SpaceX
Thursday, 16 April 2015 - 11:16AM
Watch: SpaceX Comes Tantalizingly Close to Landing a Falcon 9 Rocket on a Barge
On April 14, SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying two tons of supplies to the ISS, and then made a subsequent attempt to land a Falcon 9 rocket on a barge. Now, we have footage of their all-too-narrow miss, and it's spectacular, although frustrating:



This is SpaceX's second failed attempt to land a rocket safely on a barge in the last three months. In January, SpaceX endeavored to land a rocket booster on a barge, only to have the rocket spectacularly explode upon landing. But although it certainly looked like an utter failure, it was actually a partial success, as the rocket managed to hit the target at the correct angle. The only flaw in the landing's execution was the amount of force with which the rocket hit the barge.

SpaceX believed that they had anticipated this error for the most recent launch. Last time, the rocket hit the target too hard because its fins started to run out of hydraulic fluid in the air, but the rocket for this week's launch was equipped with much more hydraulic fluid. This was intended to rectify the problem, although there was reportedly still less than a 50% chance of success. And unfortunately, it looks like there are still a few kinks to work out, but from a layman's perspective, it looks like they're getting closer and closer. 

If the landing is successful, it could have enormous implications for future space travel, as it effectively means that we have reusable rockets at our disposal. This will greatly reduce the costs and risks associated with rocket launches, and will change the landscape of the space travel industry to the point that SpaceX calls it "the key to making human life multi-planetary."

Via Blastr.
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Space
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