New Delhi: It was a big day for SpaceX, when after four failed attempts and years of research, its Falcon 9 rocket booster re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and lowered itself vertically onto a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean — the company’s first successful landing at sea.
Not to mention that this has been done previously, however, it was 12 stories tall and a diameter about the length of Volkswagen Beetle, which rendered the entire procedure challenging.
According to an AFP report, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that the ability to safely land a rocket so it can be used again — as opposed to the traditional method of deploying a new rocket for each launch and allowing used rockets to crash-land in the ocean — will make it cheaper to get to space, and more eco-friendly.
President Barack Obama was also quick to congratulate SpaceX on Friday, after the rocket gracefully alighted on the oceanic landing platform, a drone ship that SpaceX christened “Of Course I Still Love You.”
Congrats SpaceX on landing a rocket at sea. It's because of innovators like you & NASA that America continues to lead in space exploration.
— President Obama (@POTUS) April 8, 2016
Watch the landing of the rocket below!
(Video courtesy: SpaceX)
Since it was founded in 2002, SpaceX, whose name is short for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has rapidly become a major player in the American aerospace industry and an important part of NASA’s future plans.