Here’s the revolutionary reason why the newest Falcon rocket is so different!
Today at 4:30 PM EST (April 14, 2014) SpaceX will live stream the launch of its newest Falcon rocket. And here’s why this rocket is so different. SpaceX will be testing new technology that will allow the primary rocket section to carry its Dragon capsule payload to the international space station and then return to Earth. It will fire its rocket again, and lower to land vertically on the four landing legs you can see in the image above.
The first test landing will take place over the ocean in the event of a problem. They will lower the rocket down to the surface and then let it drop into the ocean. But when the technology works correctly, these huge rockets will become truly reusable, landing vertically after each launch to be refueled.
SpaceX has this to day about the launch:
During tomorrow’s CRS-3 launch to station, SpaceX will attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage. This test is not a primary mission objective and has a low probability of success (30-40%), but we hope to gather as much data as possible to support future testing. After stage separation, when Dragon is well on its way to the ISS, the first stage will attempt to execute a reentry burn and then a landing burn over the Atlantic Ocean. Falcon 9 is carrying four landing legs, which will deploy…
In the 1950’s rockets were always depicted as landing upright on fins, not jettisoning millions of dollars of hardware each launch to burn up in the atmosphere.
Finally, the future is here.