I really should have commented on this sooner
SpaceX will be returning to flight on January 8th.
SpaceX is targeting return to flight from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) with the Iridium NEXT launch on January 8. SpaceX greatly appreciates the support of our customers and partners throughout this process, and we look forward to fulfilling our manifest in 2017 and beyond.
In preparation for the next launch, we present for your enjoyment and enlightenment a series of videos summarizing the five year history of SpaceX Falcon 9 reusability.
I never get tired of watching this. It 60s Sci-Fi realized at last.
And it …
As part of Friday’s CRS-8 successful resupply launch to the International Space Station, SpaceX accomplished its first ever ocean landing of the Falcon 9 on the ASDS (Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship) Of Course I Still Love You. Prior to this SpaceX successfully returned to Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral. See The Falcon Has Landed.
Another take on Friday’s landing
Via USA Today and YouTube
The SpaceX three engine F9R development rocket exploded during a test today at the McGregor, Texas test facility.
In a post on Twitter, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said: “Three engine F9R Dev1 vehicle auto-terminated during test flight. No injuries or near injuries. Rockets are tricky”
SpaceX Soft Lands Falcon 9 Rocket First Stage
Following last week’s successful launch of six ORBCOMM satellites, the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage reentered Earth’s atmosphere and soft landed in the Atlantic Ocean. This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able to consistently reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity.
After landing, the vehicle tipped sideways as planned to its final water safing state in a nearly horizontal position. The water impact caused loss of hull integrity, but we received all the necessary data to achieve a successful landing on a future flight. Going forward, we are taking steps to minimize the build up of ice and spots on the camera housing in order to gather improved video on future launches.
At this point, we are highly confident of being able to land successfully on a floating launch pad or back at the launch site and refly the rocket with no required refurbishment. However, our next couple launches are for very high velocity geostationary satellite missions, which don’t allow enough residual propellant for landing. In the longer term, missions like that will fly on Falcon Heavy, but until then Falcon 9 will need to fly in expendable mode.
We will attempt our next water landing on flight 13 of Falcon 9, but with a low probability of success. Flights 14 and 15 will attempt to land on a solid surface with an improved probability of success.
This message was sent from SpaceX to […]. It was sent from: […], SpaceX, 1 Rocket Road, Hawthorne, CA 90250. For more information on SpaceX, please visit http://www.spacex.com
F9R 1000m Fin Flight | Onboard Cam and Wide Shot
From the YouTube details section:
Jun 19, 2014
Video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) during a 1000m test flight at our rocket development facility in McGregor, TX. This flight was our first test of a set of steerable fins that provide control of the rocket during the fly back portion of return. The fins deploy approximately a minute and 15 seconds into the flight, and return to their original position just prior to landing. The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year. Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position, however we will soon transition to liftoff with legs stowed against the side of the rocket with leg extension just before landing. Future test flights of F9R at our New Mexico facility will include higher altitudes, allow us to prove unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more flight-like.
The Register is reporting that Elon Musk expects to have space-farers on Mars within the next twelve years. Only when the “interplanetary mission gets underway” does he expect to “float [SpaceX] on Earth-bound stock exchanges.”
Read the full story at The Register.
Previously posted videos
In case you missed them … or just want to watch them again.
I feel like a kid again.
Elon Musk is my hero.