SpaceX Releases Rockets-Eye View of Yesterday’s Landing
Oh SpaceX, you sweet son of a gun. You’ve landed another rocket on a floating ocean barge.
This is the third landing in a row for Elon Musk’s commercial spaceflight company, and the second from a rocket that delivered its cargo to a very high orbit—which means it was coming down increadibly hot. Literally. At six times the speed of sound, atmospheric particles rubbing against the Falcon 9 are trying to burn the thing up.
SpaceX’s first barge landing came in April, on a mission sending a supply-laden Dragon capsule to the ISS. Almost exactly a month later, the company proved the landing wasn’t a fluke. In fact, they upped the ante, landing their rocket in the dark, after sending it 22,300 miles above Earth. This third came down from roughly the same height, and comes a mere 20 days after the last, a testament to the company’s commitment to an increased launch tempo.
Expect to see more landing attempts, and hopefully more landings. Each of the latter slashes tens of millions of dollars from the cost of spaceflight (because rockets=expensive). And later this summer, SpaceX is going to put those savings in action and relaunch one of the recovered rockets. Musk has said each Falcon 9 could theoretically be used 10 or 20 times. That’s pretty sweet.
Originally posted here: