SpaceX releases raw video of first stage landing attempt

May 1, 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.

The video will load shortly


The video will load shortly
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 Grasshopper takes a leap into a 'ring of fire'

Related Stories

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

March 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 for approximately ...

Hot fire check test of SpaceX first stage engines

March 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 "successful" hot ...

Recommended for you

First stars formed even later than previously thought

August 31, 2016

ESA's Planck satellite has revealed that the first stars in the Universe started forming later than previous observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background indicated. This new analysis also shows that these stars were the ...

Dawn sets course for higher orbit

August 31, 2016

After studying Ceres for more than eight months from its low-altitude science orbit, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will move higher up for different views of the dwarf planet.

Galaxy cluster discovered at record-breaking distance

August 31, 2016

A new record for the most distant galaxy cluster has been set using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. This galaxy cluster may have been caught right after birth, a brief, but important stage of evolution ...

The rise and fall of galaxy formation

August 30, 2016

An international team of astronomers, including Carnegie's Eric Persson, has charted the rise and fall of galaxies over 90 percent of cosmic history. Their work, which includes some of the most sensitive astronomical measurements ...

0 comments

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.