Landing confirmed. Second stage continuing to carry JCSAT-14 to a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. pic.twitter.com/HfHI5cwoYX— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 6, 2016
After a number of unsuccessful endeavors and two extremely successful post-launch rocket landings (both on solid ground and on an unmanned ship in the sea), business magnate Elon Musk’s SpaceX has pulled off another victory by landing its reusable Flacon 9 rocket on an unmanned ship in the sea.
The rocket landed intact on the company's autonomous landing barge "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic Ocean, after deploying a Japanese communications satellite in a very high orbit above Earth. Because of the satellite’s destination in the geostationary transfer orbit, the company, on Monday, said the rocket would be “subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating, making a successful landing unlikely.”
However, the CEO upgraded the odds of the mission’s success to “maybe even” just before the launch on Friday.
2nd stage continuing nominally. pic.twitter.com/Gkz0OIGnGZ— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 6, 2016
It is certainly a big win for the space exploration company that aims to land on Mars by 2018.
Watch the live webcast below:
Post-launch recovery is an important step for SpaceX, since it hopes to land and reuse as many Falcon 9 rockets as possible. Although if it wants to perfect the landings, the company is going to need a bigger place to put all the rockets, because, apparently its hangar is running out of space.
May need to increase size of rocket storage hangar— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 6, 2016