April 08, 2016

"SpaceX has finally landed its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea, after launching the vehicle into space this afternoon."

the verge: It's the first time the company has been able to pull off an ocean landing, after four previous attempts ended in failure. by Loren Grush

'Today's success is a crucial milestone for SpaceX, as it shows the company can land its rockets both on solid ground and ocean.

'This is the second time SpaceX has successfully landed one of its rockets post-launch; the first time was in December, when the company's Falcon 9 rocket touched down at a ground-based landing site in Cape Canaveral, Florida, after putting a satellite into space. Now that SpaceX has demonstrated it can do both types of landings, the company can potentially recover and reuse even more rockets in the future. And that could mean much greater cost savings for SpaceX.

'Mastering the ocean landing is going to be important, since that’s the type of landing SpaceX will probably conduct more often. At a recent NASA press conference, Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of mission assurance for SpaceX, said the next two to three flights will involve drone ship landings. Ultimately, the company expects to land one-third of its rockets on land, and the rest at sea.'

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