A new video demonstrates how close SpaceX is to having a truly reusable rocket. The video shows the Falcon 9 rocket splashing down in the ocean after it delivered six satellites in space. The splashdown happened on July 14 and was taken via a plane following the reentry and landing. Space.com posted the splashdown video, which is about a minute long.
SpaceX successfully brings Falcon 9 back
The video shows an angled decent followed by a firing of the rockets, which slow down the Falcon 9’s descent. Unfortunately the camera operator was unable to capture the “tip-over into the water,” according to the video description from SpaceX. That’s because the operator was trying to zoom in and ended up losing sight of the rocket stage.
According to Discovery News, this is the second time SpaceX released a video of the successful rocket splashdown. The company also had additional footage from a camera that was onboard the Falcon 9. SpaceX scientists will now be able to use the data from the latest test and apply it to more tests in the future.
The July landing was the company’s third attempt to bring a rocket back home. The first was in September 2013, and the second was in April. With each successive launch, scientists have been able to learn more about how to bring the rocket back safely.
SpaceX launches satellites
The Falcon 9 rocket that came back on July 14 was carrying six commercial satellites into space. After delivering its payload, it returned to Earth safely, demonstrating SpaceX’s success in making a rocket that can be reused. The rocket is the most expensive part of any space launch, so if it could be reused, then that would greatly reduce the price of space launches.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk estimates that by reusing rockets, the cost of a launch could be reduced by up to a factor of 100. He has made it clear that he’s on a mission to get humans to outer space and even to colonize Mars.