SpaceX makes fourth successful rocket landing

May 28, 2016
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Thaicom 8 satellite, lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 27, 2016

SpaceX launched an Asian communications satellite into a distant orbit Friday and for the fourth time managed to recover the rocket that did the work.

Under blue skies dotted with clouds, the shiny white Falcon 9 blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 5:40 pm (2140 GMT) carrying the Thaicom 8 satellite.

The rocket returned to Earth about 10 minutes later, firing its engines and maneuvering with its fins to an upright position on a powered barge, known as a drone ship, positioned in the Atlantic Ocean some 420 miles (680 kilometers) off the Florida coast.

SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California erupted in cheers as the rocket touched down.

At first, the live webcast cut out briefly as the rocket neared the drone ship, then footage returned, showing the scorched but intact rocket standing straight and appearing steady.

"Rocket landing speed was close to design max," said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Twitter, noting that there was some "back and forth motion."

"Prob ok, but some risk of tipping," he added.

Musk wants to revolutionize the launch industry by making rocket components reusable, much the same way as commercial airplanes.

Currently, expensive rocket parts are jettisoned into the ocean after each launch.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wants to revolutionize the launch industry by making rocket components reusable

SpaceX has managed to successfully land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rockets three times before—twice on water and once on land.

This is the second time SpaceX has landed on the ocean platform after a launch to geostationary transfer orbit, which is much further than the low-Earth orbit altitude at which the International Space Station circles the globe.

The high speed and heat involved with the rocket's return make a steady touchdown more challenging than a low-Earth orbit launch.

The primary mission of the lauch was also a success.

The Thaicom 8 satellite, which weighs about 6,600 pounds (3,000 kilograms) was deployed as planned.

Built by Orbital ATK, the satellite will provide broadcast and data services to South Asia and Southeast Asia for a period of 15 years.

Explore further: SpaceX postpones rocket launch after 'tiny glitch'

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8 comments

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geokstr
1 / 5 (11) May 28, 2016
One has to wonder why private enterprise can accomplish this when NASA cannot. Perhaps if the entire organization hadn't been re-purposed 8 years ago with their main goal now being the enhancement of the self-esteem of Muslims...
RichManJoe
5 / 5 (8) May 28, 2016
Great work, SpaceX.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
4.4 / 5 (9) May 28, 2016
*Religion* trolling now!? (No, nay, never references to back up inflammatory claims.) Seems ass hats have two shitty orifices now. Sigh.
matt_s
5 / 5 (9) May 28, 2016
@geo - If Congress wanted NASA to accomplish what SpaceX is doing, they'd allocate them funds and tell them to do it. Since they weren't allocated any funds or directed to develop the technology, they didn't. It really is as simple as that. They don't get to pick how to spend the money.

Enthusiastic Fool
4.5 / 5 (8) May 28, 2016
@geokstr

wat?

Evidence of conspiracy and organizational subversion aside how can you even come to that conclusion? I must have missed the "Muslims make best astronauts" study. I can't recall any pro-islam propaganda from NASA.
geokstr
1 / 5 (2) May 31, 2016
*Religion* trolling now!? (No, nay, never references to back up inflammatory claims.) Seems ass hats have two shitty orifices now. Sigh.

That's rich. One of the nastiest commenters on this site vomits out another juvenile personal insult while revealing his own ignorance of the world outside the leftling bubble.

You want cites? Try google:
https://www.googl...oe=utf-8

In July of 2010, NASA chief Charles Bolden said in an interview with Al-Jazeera,

When I became the NASA administrator, (President Obama) charged me with three things. One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering.[/]
geokstr
1 / 5 (3) May 31, 2016
@geo - If Congress wanted NASA to accomplish what SpaceX is doing, they'd allocate them funds and tell them to do it. Since they weren't allocated any funds or directed to develop the technology, they didn't. It really is as simple as that. They don't get to pick how to spend the money.


Really? So New Horizons, Dawn, Mars rovers, James Webb telescope, et al, were mandated by Congress while NASA had no say?

An org that obsesses over the cost of delivering a kilogram into orbit would never have thought to consider ways to reduce those costs, right, and propose to spend money on it? Re-usable rockets are such far-fetched flights of science fiction that no one in a multi-billion dollar agency full of STEM geniuses could be expected to come up with it? Of course, NASA is a Big Government agency - they, just like the rest of the bloated monstrosity in DC, only like to spend, not save. After all, government money is FREE.

Let private enterprise do it
javjav
5 / 5 (2) Jun 01, 2016
The success of SpaceX is also a NASA success. NASA gave a big part of the funds to SpaceX, and also gave them most of the rocket technology (except for landing first stage) and even the thermal shield for Dragon capsule. They also use NASA facilities for launching their rockets and continuous advise and supervision by NASA experts. It is teamwork, and it is the way to go. Finally NASA got it right, no objections to this formuls

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