SpaceX Releases Video Of Successful Falcon 9 Rocket Landing At Sea
Two weeks ago SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station as part of the company’s third cargo resupply mission. It was also the first SpaceX launch with landing legs attached to test a soft landing of the rocket’s first stage at sea. Prior to launch SpaceX had estimated a 30 to 40 percent chance of success.
Later the same evening SpaceX confirmed via social media that the soft landing at sea was a success, saying:
“Data upload from tracking plane shows first stage landing in Atlantic was good! Flight computers continued transmitting for 8 seconds after reaching the water.”
The successful soft landing is a significant step forward in developing reusable-rocket technology that could dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration. The ultimate goal is have the Falcon 9’s first stage booster fly itself back to a landing pad, so they can quickly turnaround and reuse them.
Watch the (repaired) video from the Falcon 9 rocket’s onboard camera here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er66BActC4E
If you want to help improve the video quality of the raw footage received from the Falcon 9’s onboard camera, go here: http://www.spacex.com/news/2014/04/29/first-stage-landing-video
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The first image shows the Falcon 9’s first stage prior to launch with landing legs attached. The second image is of the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying cargo to the ISS. And the third image was captured by the Falcon 9 rocket’s onboard camera right before its successful splashdown at sea showing a controlled landing with the landing legs deployed properly.
Image Credit: SpaceX / NASA