For the first time, on the night of Thursday March 30 to Friday March 31, SpaceX used the first stage of a Falcon 9 already used to send satellites into orbit. Better still, Elon Musk’s company then recovered the first stage of the Falcon 9 on a barge in the middle of the Atlantic. Video of the recycled Falcon 9 first stage landing was recently released by SpaceX and the images are impressive.
On February 19, SpaceX managed to land its Falcon 9 rocket in order to reuse it. This was the third landfall on launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The video was already amazing and unreleased. On the other hand, it is usually on a platform at sea that the landing takes place. It is a perilous exercise, but always impressive. Evidenced by this incredible video posted on Instagram on April 5 by Elon Musk. Relive the landing of the company’s largest and most expensive part (US$62 million) on March 30 thanks to cameras positioned on the deck of the ship.
The launcher carrying a telecommunications satellite from the Luxembourg firm SES had torn from its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. 41 meters high, the first stage was then separated from the rest of the launcher 2 min 41 s after takeoff before beginning a descent controlled by its retrorockets towards the floating platform.
The stakes of landing and reusing launchers are enormous. It is for SpaceX, Blue Origin or even for Arianespace to drastically reduce the costs of launchers, or some 30 million dollars in the case of a Falcon 9 rocket. The objective is nevertheless risky, but as Elon often reminds Musk, the founder of SpaceX, aeronautics would never have taken off if airlines had dumped their planes after just one flight « .