Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















LAUNCH PAD
SpaceX rocket landing opens 'new door' to space travel
By Kerry SHERIDAN
Miami (AFP) Dec 22, 2015


SpaceX successfully landed its powerful Falcon 9 rocket Monday for the first time, a major milestone in the drive to cut costs and waste by making rockets as reusable as airplanes.

Its engines burning bright orange against the dark night sky, the Falcon 9 made a graceful arc back to Earth and touched down upright at Cape Canaveral, Florida, minutes after launching a payload of satellites to orbit, video images showed.

"The Falcon has landed," a commentator said above the screams and cheers of people gathered at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

SpaceX, headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk, is striving to revolutionize the rocket industry, which currently loses many millions of dollars in jettisoned machinery and sophisticated rocket components after each launch.

"I still can't quite believe it," Musk said in a teleconference after the landing.

"I think this is a revolutionary moment. No one has ever brought an orbital class booster back intact."

Previous attempts to land the Falcon 9's first stage on a floating ocean platform have failed -- with the rocket either colliding with the autonomous drone ship or tipping over.

But this time, video images on SpaceX's live webcast showed the tall, white portion of the rocket -- known as the first stage -- appearing to settle down firmly and stick the landing.

The rocket reached a height of 125 miles (200 kilometers) before heading back to Earth and touching down at a former US Air Force rocket and missile testing range that was last used in 1978.

Video images were cut off within seconds of the landing, and the SpaceX live webcast returned to its commentators, who described the successful deployment of the rocket's payload of 11 satellites for ORBCOMM, a global communications company.

The US space agency NASA applauded the feat.

"Congratulations @SpaceX on your successful vertical landing of the first stage back on Earth!" NASA said in a tweet.

- High stakes -

The stakes were high for SpaceX, which has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to supply the astronauts living at the International Space Station over numerous back-and-forth trips with its Dragon cargo ship.

Just six months ago, a devastating explosion -- caused by a faulty strut -- destroyed the Falcon 9 about two minutes after launch, along with hundreds of millions of dollars in cargo and equipment bound for the ISS.

The company fixed that problem and also made the newest version of the Falcon 9 about 30 percent more powerful than previous iterations, Musk said.

Adding to the competitive nature of the commercial space industry, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's rocket company Blue Origin announced last month it had successfully landed its New Shepard rocket after a suborbital flight.

"Congrats @SpaceX on landing Falcon's suborbital booster stage. Welcome to the club," Bezos said on Twitter Monday night.

Analysts have pointed out that although New Shepard was first, that SpaceX's feat would be harder to accomplish because the Falcon 9 flies higher in altitude.

"Because SpaceX's vehicle was designed to place a constellation of satellites in orbit, the Falcon 9's first stage flew at significantly greater speeds and more than double the altitude of what New Shepherd reached last month," the Commercial Spaceflight Federation said in a statement.

It called the landing an "incredible achievement" in an industry that is seeking to drive down costs and make spaceflight cheaper and more accessible to tourists and adventurers.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield added his congratulations.

"That was a hard landing to stick. Opens a brand new door to space travel. I look forward to the details," he wrote on Twitter.

.


Related Links
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
LAUNCH PAD
SpaceX Falcon 9 launch scrubbed until Monday
Miami (AFP) Dec 20, 2015
SpaceX postponed until Monday its first rocket launch since an explosion after liftoff destroyed its unmanned Dragon cargo ship bound for the International Space Station six months ago. The Falcon 9 rocket was poised to launch at 8:29 pm (0129 GMT Monday) from Cape Canaveral, Florida, but the California-based company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk announced in the late afternoon it woul ... read more


LAUNCH PAD
Rare full moon on Christmas Day

LADEE Mission Shows Force of Meteoroid Strikes on Lunar Exosphere

XPRIZE verifies moon express launch contract, kicking off new space race

Gaia's sensors scan a lunar transit

LAUNCH PAD
Insight shipped to California for March launch to Mars

New Mars rover findings revealed at American Geophysical Union Conference

Opportunity performs a week of robotic arm at Marathon Valley

Rocks Rich in Silica Present Puzzles for Mars Rover Team

LAUNCH PAD
Researchers Recall Work on First Rendezvous in Space

NASA Accepting Applications for Future Explorers

China drives global patent applications to new high

Australia seeks 'ideas boom' with tax breaks, visa boosts

LAUNCH PAD
Agreement with Chinese Space Tech Lab Will Advance Exploration Goals

China launches new communication satellite

China's indigenous SatNav performing well after tests

China launches Yaogan-29 remote sensing satellite

LAUNCH PAD
Unscheduled spacewalk likely on Monday

NASA spacewalk to fix ISS rail car

British astronaut docks with ISS as country cheers debut trip

First Briton to travel to ISS blasts off into space

LAUNCH PAD
NASA orders second Boeing Crew Mission to ISS

ESA and Arianespace ink James Webb Space Telescope launch contract

Moscow Confirms Suspension of Russian-Ukrainian 'Dnepr' Rocket Launches

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch scrubbed until Monday

LAUNCH PAD
Nearby star hosts closest alien planet in the 'habitable zone'

ALMA reveals planetary construction sites

Monster planet is 'dancing with the stars'

Exoplanets Water Mystery Solved

LAUNCH PAD
Israel's Amos-5 Satellite Failure Caused by Power Supply Malfunction

Turning rice farming waste into useful silica compounds

Hybrid material presents potential for 4-D-printed adaptive devices

The artificial materials that came in from the cold




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.