After several unsuccessful attempts, SpaceX finally made a perfect touchdown with its Falcon 9 rocket on the drone ship, aptly named: ‘Of Course I Still Love You.’ A historic moment with the help of a drone ship.
Several hours ago, ISS astronauts opened the cargo bay of the Dragon spacecraft that was recently berthed to the space station. It was both the 7th successful Dragon mission and the 5th successful ISS dock (under NASA’s CRS program) — a perfect record, which on its own is exceptional. Dragon missions are becoming so uneventful now that they are starting to look routine. SpaceX is advancing rapidly, however, and despite this weekend’s failed attempt to recover the first stage of the Falcon9 rocket on an unmanned barge mid-ocean, it remains the most impressive feature of the ongoing CRS-5 mission.
Yesterday SpaceX’s Falcon 9 test rig (code name Grasshopper) successfully completed a 100m lateral maneuver, beginning at an altitude of 250m, before returning to the center of the pad from which it was launched. According to a press release, the test demonstrated the vehicle’s ability to perform more aggressive steering maneuvers than have been attempted in previous flights.
The Falcon 9 rocket in the hangar at SpaceX’s launch site at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Photo credit: SpaceX.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announced today that, in 2018, it will be carrying three satellites that will make up Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) into orbit aboard its Falcon 9 rocket.