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Space & Astronomy

SpaceX finally lands rocket on ocean platform

By T.K. Randall
April 9, 2016 · Comment icon 21 comments

The rocket touched down gently without a hitch. Image Credit: YouTube / SpaceX
The private space firm has finally succeeded in landing its Falcon 9 rocket on a barge out at sea.
After several failed attempts, SpaceX is finally celebrating the first successful landing of its Falcon 9 rocket's lower stage on a small floating platform out in the middle of the ocean.

The feat, which was achieved after the rocket had delivered cargo to the International Space Station, represents another significant step forward in the development of reusable rockets.
"The rocket landed instead of putting a hole in the ship - or tipping over - so we're really excited about that," said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

The next step will be to ensure that the newly landed rocket is actually in a fit enough state to be used again in future missions.

Footage of the rocket's impressive landing can be viewed below.

Source: The Register | Comments (21)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket returns to port Riding into port aboard a floating platform before dawn, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket booster arrived back at Cape Canaveral early Tuesday after sticking a historic landing at sea last week, kicking off a series of inspections and tests before engineers ready it for launch again.A small crowd of SpaceX employees, news photographers and space enthusiasts welcomed the 15-story rocket booster to Port Canaveral around 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT) aboard a landing ship dubbed “Of Course I Still Love You,” a reference to giant planet-sized starships in science f... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by crandles57 8 years ago
Separation was at about 73km altitude and speed ~6500Km/h for this last launch. Momentum would carry it higher and I also think I have heard it reaches around 100km altitude. They also flip the rocket around and fire three of the engines to slow it down with the boostback burn and the reentry burn before they hit the thicker lower parts of the atmosphere so I believe it will be going considerably slower than the speed at separation (which varies depending on type of orbit, payload weight ... ) when it reaches thick parts of the atmosphere. Bringing a second stage back would require a heat shie... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
You folks are going to love this!! 360° view of the first stage landing. Pan up with your cursor for the best view. Funny thing is that it so underwhelming as a real event that it is overwhelming emotionally. Pure, super creative science and engineering making the miraculous look common. Can't watch this just once. Sorry but you'll have to click on the YouTube link to play with the 360° feature so I didn't embed.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Peter B 8 years ago
They've done it again: An unmanned SpaceX rocket has blasted off from Florida to put a communications satellite into orbit, with the launch vehicle's main-stage booster successfully landing on a floating platform at sea...Before the launch, the company played down expectations for a successful return this time. Unlike the April mission, the rocket would have little fuel left over for engine burns to slow its descent after sending a half-tonne satellite into orbit. I know that experts in the field have said that SpaceX are masters of publicity, but this is... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
Two is a row and this one was with little fuel left. Great job SpaceX
Comment icon #17 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Three Camera Angles | Falcon 9 First Stage Landing on DroneshipThree different views of last week's Falcon 9 first stage landing after sending JCSAT-14 satellite on to Geostationary Transfer Orbit. Hottest and fastest landing yet.Credit: SpaceXSource: SpaceX - YouTube Channel
Comment icon #18 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Make that three in a row, And another hot fast re-entry.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
Wow, another amazing landing!  Three perfect missions in a row. 
Comment icon #20 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
  First-stage landing | Onboard camera Sped up video of the Falcon 9 first-stage landing during the THAICOM 8 mission on May 27, 2016. More info: Credit: SpaceX Source: SpaceX You Tube Channel
Comment icon #21 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Sadly SpaceX haven't been able to make it 4 in a row for the barge landing. The latest attempt crashed on the barge after one of the three engines used for landing suffered a thrust shortfall. 

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