Space

SpaceX makes spectacular ground landing after Dragon launch

SpaceX makes spectacular groun...
Falcon 9 touching down
Falcon 9 touching down
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CRS-9 on the launch pad
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CRS-9 on the launch pad
International Docking Adapter-2 being loaded on the Dragon
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International Docking Adapter-2 being loaded on the Dragon
The International Docking Adapter-2
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The International Docking Adapter-2
Former astronaut Bob Cabana inspects the International Docking Adapter-2
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Former astronaut Bob Cabana inspects the International Docking Adapter-2
Diagram of the International Docking Adapter-2 installed on the ISS
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Diagram of the International Docking Adapter-2 installed on the ISS
CRS-9 lifting off
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CRS-9 lifting off
Falcon 9 making its landing burn
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Falcon 9 making its landing burn
Falcon 9 touching down
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Falcon 9 touching down
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SpaceX scored a double success today by sending a Dragon into orbit and nailing another ground landing.

At 12:45 am EDT, the CRS-9 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, setting an unmanned Dragon cargo ship on course for a rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS).

SpaceX says that the launch, second stage separation, and deployment of the Dragon spacecraft were carried out without incident. Shortly afterwards, the first stage Falcon 9 booster flew back to Cape Canaveral, where it landed at Landing Zone 1. This is the second time that the Falcon 9 has managed a landward landing and the first since the Orbcomm 2 mission last December.

The ninth of up to 20 missions by SpaceX to the ISS, CRS-9 carries 5,000 lb (2,270 kg) of supplies, equipment, and science experiments as well as a replacement for the docking ring lost in the destruction of CRS-7. The new Docking Adaptor-2 allows any manned spacecraft or unmanned cargo ship to dock with one another at any angle of rotation.

Falcon 9 making its landing burn
Falcon 9 making its landing burn

The Dragon will spend the next two days making a series of course corrections to match its orbit with the ISS, after which it will be captured by a robotic arm and guided to a docking berth on the station. Later, the arm will remove the docking ring from the Dragon's unpressurized cargo section and guide it to the Harmony module, where spacewalking astronauts will make the final connection.

The International Docking Adapter-2
The International Docking Adapter-2

The Dragon is scheduled to spend over a month at the ISS before returning to Earth for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off Baja, California, where it will be recovered.

The video below recaps the CRS-9 launch.

Source: SpaceX

CRS-9 Hosted Webcast

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2 comments
dsiple
Take that, flat earthers!
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It seems that the problem with the barge landings is the barge flopping around in the waves. Wouldn't a barge with below surface flotation, like a drilling platform, solve that?