SpaceX
Off World

Watch This Amazing Drone Footage of Falcon 9 Landing

It's a bird. It's a plane! It's an economically viable space industry!

June JavelosaFebruary 21st 2017

Evidently, SpaceX is getting a lot better at landing its reusable rockets. The Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket that was used to safely transport satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit, and we are now able to see the Falcon 9’s third successful landing on solid ground from a drone’s unique vantage point.

Image Credit: Elon Musk/ Instagram

This was SpaceX’s first commercial rocket launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The rocket was sent to deliver a payload into space. To capture the moment, a camera-equipped drone was sent to film the Falcon 9’s downward journey through the clouds to touch safely down on SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1.

The other landings on this same landing zone took place back in December of 2015 and July of 2016. SpaceX was also able to successfully land Falcon 9 on the company’s first spaceport drone ship “Just Read the Instructions.”

Successfully reusing boosters is a critical part of bringing down the cost of these launches because they won’t have to build a completely new rocket for every mission. According to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, achieving this level of reusability can bring down launches by as much as 30 percent. This could, over time, allow for more frequent launches and faster progress.

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