SpaceX Confirms Soft Landing of Reusable Falcon 9
[Via Satellite 07-23-2014] SpaceX released video footage showing the company’s latest attempt to soft-land the Falcon 9 rocket following the launch of six OG2 satellites for Orbcomm. After the soft-landing, the rocket was purposefully allowed to fall sideways, splashing down into the ocean.
SpaceX reports that enough information was gained from this process to prove the Falcon 9 can restart its main engines twice after returning from space, deploy landing legs and touch down at near-zero velocity.
“At this point, we are highly confident of being able to land successfully on a floating launch pad or back at the launch site and refly the rocket with no required refurbishment,” SpaceX said in a statement.
The next two launches, AsiaSat 8 and AsiaSat 6, will burn through too much fuel to attempt landing and will have to fly expendably. SpaceX said the next water-landing attempt will follow the Falcon 9’s 13th flight, a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. The following launches, 14, and 15, will attempt to return to land.