A first in history: Falcon 9 rocket lands back on earth after launching payloads
After several failed attempts, SpaceX on Monday finally managed to successfully launch its Falcon 9 rocket to the edge of space, deploy a second stage containing a payload of commercial satellites and bring the first stage to a perfect landing back at Cape Canaveral. The historical move could spell massive reduction in the cost of similar space missions in the future.
Though sending a 15-story metal tube to the space was no mean a task, that did not deter Tesla founder Elon Musk and his SpaceX team from working hard to complete the task. They kept on trying again and again till the feat was achieved. The rocket launched 11 satellites into the orbit.
Among others, NASA has congratulated SpaceX on its success. The last failed attempt SpaceX had made was on June 28.
A two-stage rocket, Falcon 9, in the first stage, works with burn time of 162 seconds as the rocket fires up nine engines. The thrust at sea level is 6,806 kN, which equivalent in vacuum would be 7,426 kN.
Offering more information about Falcon 9 and its design on its website, SpaceX says, “Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. As the first rocket completely developed in the 21st century, Falcon 9 was designed from the ground up for maximum reliability”.
Time reported that, SpaceX successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket at a landing pad in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Monday, after launching 11 satellites into orbit.
“The Falcon has landed,” a SpaceX commentator said on a live webcast, marking the first time in history a rocket delivered a payload into orbit and returned to earth with a gentle landing. Cheers of “U.S.A., U.S.A” followed the announcement.
TheDailyBeast report said, Blasting orange fire from its tail, the Falcon 9 booster—which had just delivered a cluster of communication satellites to low orbit—did what no spacefaring rocket before it had ever done. Steered by special fins, it landed upright, coming to rest on four insect-like metal legs.
Mostly intact despite its harrowing journey, the Falcon 9 can now be refurbished and reused. “Welcome back, baby,” Musk tweeted in celebration.
In a statement provided to UniverseToday News, Although the primary goal of the Dec. 21 ‘Return to Flight’ launch was carrying a constellation of 11 ORBCOMM OG2 commercial communications satellites to low Earth orbit, the secondary goal of safely soft landing the Falcon 9 rocket vertically and recovering the first stage for eventual reuse is what made headlines worldwide and sparks belief in enabling Musk’s vision concerning sending people to Mars in the not too distant future.
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