Space X Nails The Landing
History was made last night in Florida. A Falcon 9 rocket was launched by Space X from their launch complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Rockets have always launched from Cape Canaveral but this is the first time one was coming back and land. Having a reusable first stage rocket will help cut costs, instead of using a disposable one. Rockets are not cheap, and this one will be able to carry payloads to space and return. The Falcon 9 rocket launched was carrying eleven satellites for ORBCOMM, a communications company that deals with machine-to-machine connections. This launch is groundbreaking for private rocket companies like Space X. Many feel that these private companies should not be allowed to launch into space, or have the ability to operate as well as NASA and other space agencies. So not only was this launch important to a paying customer with a payload on board, it was ground breaking for Space X as a whole, to prove that a rocket can be landed.
Billions have been spent collectively by the space agencies worldwide to accomplish this feat. A good comparison would be the airplane industry, flying people around is cheap because you can reuse the plane, can you imagine the cost if the plane had to be replaced after every flight? The launch was streamed live on the internet and I watched as a roomful of people cheered as the rocket made it into space, and then the first stage separated. The room was electric with excitement not only for the successful launch but in anticipation of the landing. Once the rocket separated from the payload it was maneuvered into position and it landed in Cape Canaveral, it looked like a science fiction movie, the room went wild when Space X nailed the landing. After the landing, the satellites were successfully deployed. Not only did Space X complete its contract with a paying customer, but they made history in one shot. You can see more pictures and videos on the SpaceX Facebook page.
The live feed from last night the landing is at 33:05 in the video …
The landing as seen by Helicopter