SpaceX lands the Falcon 9 again

29 May

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX is turning what use to be considered impossible into a routine occurrence. For the third time in a month and a half the privately owned owned company has landed the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket on a drone barge. In total this makes it four successful landings, the first one was on land, of the booster stage.

The first success took place on Dec. 21, 2015 when they brought the booster back for a safe landing, in a clearing, at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Before bring the first stage down for a landing after successfully deploying the Orbcomm-2 communication satellite. The mission was the first flight of a Falcon 9 rocket since an accident in June caused SpaceX to suspend all missions until they could correct the problem.

The second landing came on April 8, 2016 when SpaceX made the first ever pinpoint landing on a drone barge of the coast of Florida. The landing came after a successful launch of the BEAM (Bigelow Expansion Activity Module) to the ISS (international space station). The landing marked a big step in the future of spaceflight.

This is a really good milestone for the future of spaceflight,” SpaceX’s billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, told reporters afterward at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. “It’s another step toward the stars.”

On May 6, 2016 the Hawthorne-based company repeated their feat of landing the first stage on a drone barge. This time the landing came after a late night launch of the JSCAT-14 communication satellite. Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, didn’t expect the landing to be a success given the time and conditions of the launch. He was pleasantly surprised though when the booster stage landed perfectly on the barge.

This is recovery, the Falcon has landed,” exclaimed a member of SpaceX’s launch team.

Elon Musk, the company’s founder and CEO, said on Twitter: “May need to increase size of rocket storage hangar.”

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