Analox would like to congratulate SpaceX on the successful landing of its rocket on a drone ship in the ocean.
The Falcon 9 was launched on Friday 8 April from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida to the International Space Station.
On top of the rocket was the company’s Dragon spacecraft carrying almost 7,000 pounds of cargo, including cabbage seeds, lab mice and a an inflatable pop up room called the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM).
Minutes after the launch, the first stage portion of the Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean named ‘Of Course I Still Love You’.
This is the first time SpaceX has managed to achieve an ocean landing and marks a huge milestone for the company as they have now landed rockets on both solid ground and the ocean.
— NASA (@NASA) April 11, 2016
Currently, most rocket parts are destroyed or lost after taking off, meaning entirely new rockets must be built for each mission.
Now that SpaceX has demonstrated the ability to carry out both types of landings, the company can potentially recover and reuse rockets and cut down the cost of creating new vehicles.
To prepare for the recent launch, SpaceX wrote coded commands for Dragon cargo capsules to deploy their parachutes for an emergency landing in the event of rocket explosions.
In June 2015 the Dragon cargo carrier suffered a launch failure, but the section designed to return to Earth made it away from the rocket wreckage intact and broadcast telemetry. Unfortunately it was not programmed to deploy its parachutes in this type of scenario so it plummeted into the sea and was never recovered.
The launch of the Dragon in April was the first re-supply run to the space station since the mishap last year and it reached its destination on 10 April.
British astronaut Tim Peake reached out with the station’s robotic arm to capture the Dragon, which is currently the only spaceship capable of returning cargo to Earth.
It is expected to splash down in the Pacific Ocean on 11 May, carrying science experiments including biological samples from astronaut Scott Kelly’s one-year mission which ended in March.
Author: Araminta Hartley, Content Writer
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