Wednesday, December 23, 2015

SpaceX Falcon 9 landing!

This is a fantastic clip of a very important achievement - the first time a rocket has boosted a payload into space and vertically landed the first stage. Why is that a big deal? Because we are now, as a species, entirely reliant on access to space - half our technology wouldn't work if we could get access at least to low Earth orbit. And it has to be affordable - we're no longer in a "money is no object" Cold War race to space - we're dependent on space for our day to day lives.
So the privatization of the space industry is vital and reusable rocket technologies are obviously an inevitable part of the sustainability of space access as a business.
Depending on how much of a nerd you are you may be aware that several private companies have been experimenting with vertical landings for years. Several successful tests have been made with vertical liftoff/landing but this one is different.
This rocket was not a low altitude test - it put 11 satellites into orbit AND landed (the first stage) vertically - it didn't just go straight up and down - it boosted the second stage to around 5000 kph, turned around and landed safely - wow!
Now this video was a live feed from Space X and it's actually quite moving! The emotion is contagious! This was an incredible achievement!
If you're VERY nerdy you'll enjoy the whole 45 minutes - if you're just Nerd-curious you'll want to watch from lift-off at around 22:00 to landing at around 33:00 - the actual mission was to launch the satellites which happens later in the film but the really big news was the landing of that first stage - VERY EXCITING! (and they end with a Star Wars pun - beautiful!)

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