Tuesday, December 22, 2015

SpaceX Sticks The Landing!!!

Launching 11 Satellites Into Low Earth Orbit Is Nice, But...

Then the first stage of the SpaceX Dragon 9 reversed course and came back to land tail first, just like in all those 1950s science fiction movies.  

I'm sure Orbcomm, the client who paid to have a constellation of its "Machine-to-Machine" communications satellites put in orbit, is pleased, but that sort of thing happens without incident almost all of the time. 

This was SpaceX's third attempt to land the first stage in a controlled manner, so that these multi-million dollar vehicles can be reused, eventually cutting the cost of spaceflight to a fraction of its current level.  The first two "close but no cigar" attempts - in January and April of 2015 - to land on a barge at sea resulted in some spectacular fireballs.  

Tonight, it all looked just like a Chesley Bonestell painting...

Godspeed, SpaceX!