SpaceX Lands Falcon 9 On A Barge At Sea (Again)
SpaceX has done it again. Launching from Cape Canaveral, Fla., early Friday morning, the company successfully landed part of its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating barge. A second part or "stage" continued into space, carrying a communications satellite.
2nd stage continuing nominally. pic.twitter.com/Gkz0OIGnGZ— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 6, 2016
SpaceX achieved the landing feat for the first time in April after a few spectacular failures — before that, it had only returned successfully to solid ground.
"Now, SpaceX has both demonstrated that it can land the Falcon 9 at sea, and that the company can repeat the process," The Verge reports.
It's not just a stunt. SpaceX founder Elon Musk hopes to reuse rockets. After Friday's success, Musk tweeted that he might need more room to store them.
With recent adjustments to the Falcon 9, Musk wasn't sure how the latest mission would go.
Rocket reentry is a lot faster and hotter than last time, so odds of making it are maybe even, but we should learn a lot either way— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 6, 2016
The rocket was deploying a Japanese satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit — when it reaches its final position, the satellite will orbit in a way that "it hangs seemingly motionless above a point on Earth," NASA says.
The Falcon 9 second stage delivered JCSAT-14 to a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit pic.twitter.com/GA5x9GMlgW— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 6, 2016
Here's a video of the launch, webcast live by SpaceX.
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