Sunday, April 8, 2018

This Week in Science History: SpaceX Falcon 9 Landing

Article Written By: Teresa Marotta


On April 8 2016,  SpaceX successfully landed a reusable Falcon 9 rocket booster. The rocket carried SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo spacecraft which carried crew supplies, station hardware and science experiments for the crew of the International Space Station. After the rocket separated from Dragon, Falcon 9's lowered itself vertically onto a SpaceX drone ship off the Florida coast. This was SpaceX's eighth attempted at a cargo run for NASA for the agency's Commercial Resupply (CRS) program and the first time SpaceX has launched a Dragon cargo vehicle for NASA since June 2015 when one of the rockets exploded shortly after liftoff. The April 8 landing was SpaceX’s fifth attempt to land one of its rocket boosters on a drone ship. During the previous four times, the rocket was able to reach the ship, but failed to successfully land. Before this, in December 2015,  SpaceX successfully landed a Falcon 9 booster on a landing pad on solid ground at Cape Canaveral.

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