SpaceX’s Falcon 9 had been launched to deliver cargo weighing over 5,000 pounds or 2,300 kg to the International Space Station (ISS) – and it sure did; but it crashed upon return to Earth – failing to safe-land on the floating platform prepared for it in the Atlantic Ocean.
The success of the launch and the delivery of its cargo to the ISS was however dampened by the failure of the rocket to land as expected – since this would have marked an era for reusing rockets launched to orbit for future missions. It is true that the primary goal of launching the rocket was to deliver its supplies to the ISS, but bringing it back to Earth for future reuse would have been a model for the space industry.
According to Elon Musk, SpaceX’s CEO, “Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship, but landed hard. Close, but no cigar this time. Bodes well for the future thought.” He however commended his team’s effort at landing the rocket in a tweet: “Am super proud of my crew for making huge strides towards reusability on this mission. You guys rock!”
Hired by NASA to make runs to the ISS, SpaceX had first made history in 2012 as the first commercial company to successfully made a rendezvous to the ISS in a private capacity, and it has made a total of three flights to the space station since the initial encounter back in 2012.
Before its failed attempt to land for possible reuse, Falcon 9 had dispatched equipment, food, technical supplies, and experiments to the ISS aboard the Dragon. The company’s CEO however is not deterred that the company could succeed at landing the rocket safety back to Earth, even as he looks forward to transporting humans to Mars at some future date.
Image Credits: SpaceX.
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