SpaceX releases raw video of first stage landing attempt

May 01, 2014 by Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today

Video released today by SpaceX confirms the landing legs deployed successfully on the Falcon 9′s first stage booster, paving the way for future vertical soft touchdowns on land. SpaceX's next-generation Falcon 9 rocket was tested following the launch of the CRS-3 mission for the Dragon spacecraft, which launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on April 18. This was the first test of the landing legs deployment with a re-entry burn and soft landing in the Atlantic Ocean.

The SpaceX CEO had mentioned the success during a post launch briefing and later tweeted further updates that the Falcon 9 first stage actually made a good water landing despite rough seas, with waves swelling at least six feet. He also spoke briefly of the success during a news conference at the National Press Club on April 25, saying video would be released soon.

The video above is actually a cleaned-up (repaired) version of the original. There are a short few frames which show the landing legs deployed just before splashdown, which Musk highlighted in a recent Tweet. Obviously this is not the greatest-quality video ever released, but exciting still the same. SpaceX is actually looking for help in cleaning up the even further.

Falcon 9 onboard camera shot right before splashdown. Full vid posting shortly to t.co/0ibzGWMxzu. pic.twitter.com/RXcKJ1d36G

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2014

"I'm happy to confirm we were able to do a soft landing of the Falcon 9 boost stage in the Atlantic and all the data we received back shows that it did a soft landing and was in a healthy condition after that," Musk said at the April 25 news conference. Before the launch, SpaceX had estimated a 30 – 40 percent chance of successfully recovering the Falcon 9 first stage.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

While rough seas made it impossible to recover the booster, it does mean that SpaceX successfully demonstrated the capability of landing the first back on land, helping to reduce costs by making them reusable.

Explore further: SpaceX's next-generation reusable rocket roars in tie-down test

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SpaceX Grasshopper takes a leap into a 'ring of fire'

Mar 12, 2013

Last week, SpaceX's Grasshopper took its highest leap ever, doubling its past flights. On March 7, 2013, the vertical and takeoff and landing (VTVL) vehicle, rose 24 stories or 80.1 meters (262.8 feet), hovered ...

Hot fire check test of SpaceX first stage engines

Mar 10, 2014

The historic blast off of the first SpaceX rocket equipped with 'landing legs' and also carrying a private Dragon cargo vessel bound for the Space Station is now slated for March 16 following a short and ...

Recommended for you

Going a long way to do a quick data collection

4 hours ago

Like many a scientist before me, I have spent this week trying to grow a crystal. I wasn't fussy, it didn't have to be a single crystal – a smush of something would have done – just as long as it had ...

How are planets formed?

5 hours ago

How did the Solar System's planets come to be? The leading theory is something known as the "protoplanet hypothesis", which essentially says that very small objects stuck to each other and grew bigger and ...

Japan to launch new spy satellite

9 hours ago

Japan's government said it will launch a back-up spy satellite on Sunday, after cancelling an earlier lift-off due to bad weather.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.