Weekly Space News: All Six SpaceX Landings
SpaceX, launch provider for Google Lunar XPRIZE team SpaceIL, has their rockets back on their feet (rather literally) after the Iridium-1 launch and landing last month.
In honor of that milestone, here’s a look back at all of SpaceX’s incredible rocket landings, from December 2015 (when it still seemed near impossible) to today:
The First: December 21st, 2015
Sometimes, the impossible is possible. After failing on their first two attempts, SpaceX finally nailed the world’s first orbital-return rocket landing with this beauty on solid ground at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida:
Landing at Sea: April 8th, 2016
For the first time and their second landing overall, SpaceX succeeds at landing their Falcon 9 on a drone ship (after failing at sea several times). Perseverance is the key!
Of Course They Did: May 6th, 2016
Sticking their second sea landing in a row, SpaceX was on a roll, later landing again in the same month. This sea landing on Of Course I Still Love You (the sci-fi-series inspired name, from the books of Ian M. Banks), was more challenging, with Elon Musk lowering expectations beforehand, but mission accomplished – and at night!:
An Incredible View: May 27th, 2016
SpaceX’s fourth rocket landing (and third success in a row), may have the best video from an on-board camera. Follow along on the THIACOM-8 launch from orbit, all the way back down to landing at sea on Of Course I Still Love You:
Dragon Wings: July 18th , 2016
After launching their Dragon spacecraft to the ISS, SpaceX completed their second-ever ground landing, touching down at night at Cape Canaveral. Here’s the complete webcast, if you want the full experience, with the landing starting at 24:40:
Back in Action: January 14th, 2017
And, last but not least, SpaceX came back strong after their four-month break due to the launch pad anomaly, landing at sea for their first rocket landing of 2017 – on Just Read the Instructions (the first successful landing on this drone ship):
There’s many more exciting launches to come from SpaceX (and all other launch providers), so stay tuned for the latest in rocket excitement!
Author: Nick Azer; Editor: Susan Emmer