Space

SpaceX recoups a rocket without really trying

SpaceX recoups a rocket withou...
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket bobbles in the ocean, after surviving an experimental test landing
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket bobbles in the ocean, after surviving an experimental test landing
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket sits on the launchpad ahead of liftoff
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket sits on the launchpad ahead of liftoff
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from the launchpad 
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from the launchpad 
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on its way to orbit
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on its way to orbit
A still from SpaceX's webcast of its mission to fire a satellites communication into orbit for the government of Luxembourg
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A still from SpaceX's webcast of its mission to fire a satellites communication into orbit for the government of Luxembourg
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on its way to orbit
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on its way to orbit
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on its way to orbit
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on its way to orbit
SpaceX's Falcon 9 releases a satellite into geostationary orbit
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 releases a satellite into geostationary orbit
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket bobbles in the ocean, after surviving an experimental test landing
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket bobbles in the ocean, after surviving an experimental test landing
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SpaceX's rocket landings have become almost routine in just a short couple of years, but the company is still looking to push the boundaries. It was doing just that as a Falcon 9 booster came hurtling back to Earth toward the Atlantic Ocean, an encounter it was not expected to survive. But survive it did.

This incidental rocket landing followed the launch of a communications satellite for the government of Luxembourg, which was successfully released into geostationary orbit on Wednesday. The Falcon 9 used for this mission had visited space before, been refurbished and re-launched again, marking the sixth time SpaceX has recycled one of its boosters.

SpaceX will typically land its Falcon 9s either on solid ground or on a floating barge in the ocean, but it didn't intend on doing either this time around. Instead, SpaceX had it carry out an experimental, faux landing over the open ocean, firing up three of its nine Merlin engines, rather than just the one it typically uses during the final touchdown.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on its way to orbit
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on its way to orbit

"This rocket was meant to test very high retrothrust landing in water so it didn't hurt the droneship, but amazingly it has survived," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted. "We will try to tow it back to shore."

What SpaceX plans to do with the intact booster from here remains unclear.

Meanwhile, in other SpaceX news, Musk has also announced that the company is targeting a February 6 for the long-awaited launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket. This will be the world's most powerful operational booster, and whether the launch is successful or sees SpaceX pulling rocket pieces out of the Atlantic Ocean again, it is sure to provide a spectacle.

Source: Twitter (Elon Musk)

View gallery - 8 images
10 comments
ChairmanLMAO
people should respect such a talented entrepreneur. whats with all the negative positions. the guy could use your faith and belief in his vision. how many of you are launching rockets and satellites and making car companies and digging underground transportation systems? no one?
JimFox
sugamari-- Elon Musk is greatly respected for his daringly original vision. BUT- can you explain to me why he is selling flame throwers?
JamesDemello
Elon Musk's adventures are better than scifi.
Lamar Havard
JimFox - because we have enemies.
akarp
Musk clearly has an appreciation for Space Balls. Ludacris mode, Plaid, "merchandising, merchandising!" "Space Balls the flame thrower, kids love it."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgRFQJCHcPw
Fast Eddie
JimFox - I agree that selling flame throwers is absolutely wrong and should be stopped....right after I get mine, of course!
GlassHalfEmpty
JimFox, it is called fund raising. Look it up. Oh, you can buy a plain boring flamethrower at your local home depot: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lincoln-Electric-Inferno-Propane-Torch-Kit-KH825-01/100341111
..or a cool one and support a good cause.
CraigAllenCorson
Lamar Harvard You only GET enemies by BEING one.
Catweazle
**CraigAllenCorsonJuly 10th, 2018
Lamar Harvard You only GET enemies by BEING one.**
History very definitely proves otherwise.
Grunchy
Making rockets, cars, and tunnels, these are not exactly visionary. Sorry to shatter the illusion? Also: making batteries isn't visionary, neither are solar cells. It's just re-hashed tech. Same as Jobs before him, making a new mp3 player & naming it "ipod" wasn't all that visionary. Who even uses an ipod any more? I'm asking: "who uses an ipod any more?" I'm genuinely curious. In my opinion this is nothing but hero worship for total flash-in-the-pan products that pretty much everybody else is also doing.