The geniuses at SpaceX are at it again, and have successfully landed a rocket at Cape Canaveral. On Sunday, the team commenced its ninth NASA-contracted mission to resupply the International Space Station, successfully launching the CRS-9 Dragon to ISS. And for the first time since their ORB-COMM launch in December, SpaceX managed to triumphantly touch down at Cape Canaveral.
SpaceX has had quite a lot of success with landing its rockets, but this news, per Gizmodo, marks the first time the company has had a successful rocket landing while working on a NASA-contracted mission. While the main goal of this mission was to resupply the International Space Station—a mission that also has been going along without a hitch—the successful landing of the Falcon 9 rocket means the SpaceX team will reap a ton of new data about launching cargo into space and successfully landing crafts, which will only help to make space travel better, safer, and more effective.
The ability to reuse a rocket is a huge development in space travel, and would slash the costs behind it; for context, imagine the costs if planes, ships, or trains were destroyed after each voyage. SpaceX is so laser-focused on creating sustainable, affordable space travel to achieve its ultimate end game, making life on Mars a viable option for us. The ability to reuse rockets after launch is an imperative piece to that puzzle.
You can watch the entire launch in the video above. Even if you aren’t too familiar with the more dense scientific goings on in the world of space travel, the engineers hosting the launch do a great job of explaining what’s happening. The entire thing is nothing short of fascinating, and will definitely make you agree with SpaceX’s philosophy that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not.
Have you been following SpaceX’s missions? What did you think of their latest mission? Tell us what you think in the comments!
Featured Image: SpaceX/Flickr