Success! The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stuck its landing on a floating drone ship perfectly.
This was the space firm's third successful landing at sea. It's an amazing accomplishment for company as it's proving it can recover rockets for reuse in other missions, significantly cutting the cost of going to space.
The THAICOM 8 satellite was also successfully deployed and sent into "a nominal supersynch transfer orbit," so all in all, it was a good day for SpaceX.
Original article below...
It's that time again! SpaceX's Falcon 9 is prepping for another takeoff after postponing its launch Thursday, and it's all streaming live for the enjoyment of us amateur aeronautic enthusiasts.
Airing for two hours on YouTube and SpaceX.com starting at 5:39pm ET, the launch will be webcast live from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Falcon 9's mission is two-fold: deploy a commercial communications satellite for Asian satellite operator Thaicom into orbit, and then the tricky part: stick the landing.
Like other recent SpaceX launches, the Falcon 9 will attempt landing on a drone ship at sea - something the space program has only recently been able to pull off, though it has done so twice successfully in the last few months.
Should the Falcon 9 be able to consistently return in one piece after launch, reusable rocket systems will become a huge step for both Elon Musk's company and reducing the cost barrier of space travel.
The launch was delayed Thursday out of "an abundance of caution."
CEO Elon Musk chimed in with more details about what led to the postponed launch: "There was a tiny glitch in the motion of an upper stage engine actuator. Probably not a flight risk, but still worth investigating."
Everything seems to be A-OK now, though.
We've covered SpaceX's exploits several times in the past, both triumphant and not-so-successful, but we can't help being excited each time Falcon 9 steps up to the plate. It's space travel, people!
- SpaceX's goal for 2018? Mars, of course