A Sixth Success! SpaceX Again Lands Rocket on a Ship at Sea
SpaceX has done it again. congoo. SpaceX #spaceX #nasa #astronomy #spacecraft #falcon9 #falcon #esa #physics #science
The private spaceflight company landed its Falcon 9 rocket for the sixth time in the last eight months early Sunday morning (Aug. 14), pulling off the feat during the successful launch of the JCSAT-16 commercial communications satellite.
The two-stage Falcon 9 lifted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:26 a.m. EDT (0526 GMT) Sunday, carrying JCSAT-16 toward a distant geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
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Less than 9 minutes later, the rocket's first stage came back for a pinpoint landing on the deck of a robotic ship called Of Course I Still Love You, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean a few hundred miles off the Florida coast.
Four of the Falcon 9 landings have occurred on the "drone ship," while the other two came down on terra firma, back at Cape Canaveral. The touchdown destination depends on the mission profile: Rockets that blast payloads toward distant destinations like GTO cannot carry enough fuel to make it all the way back to the launch site, so the ship is the only option.