Space X Just Took Their Space Game To A Whole New Level

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Space X pulled off one of the most remarkable feats in its race towards the stars. The company managed to launch 7000 pounds of cargo for the International Space Station before it was able to successfully land the rocket onto a drone ship in the ocean.

The company had failed in its four previous attempts to land a rocket on the ship, all of which helped the scientists learn and eventually pull this feat off. This is a huge deal.

Why?

Having the capability to land rockets on the ocean means that Space X can build much more efficient launch vehicles and bring down the cost of transporting space payloads even more. Rockets launch in a parabolic arch away from their ground stations.

For them to land on ground means having to retrace this path and not be able to find a much shorter route back towards the ocean. It is also a sign of the tremendous progress that companies like Space X and Blue Origin have made that we are now talking about the most efficient ways to land rockets instead of simply being resigned to the fact that they will be one-time use only.

This landing is only the second successful one that Space X has pulled off and unlike the previous occasion, Elon Musk has indicated that they intend to put the rocket back into space soon. Falcon 9, the rocket in question here is set to undergo rigorous testing and be fired close to ten times before that will happen, though.

It also remains to be seen what kind of repair and retrofitting Falcon 9 will need before it is fit to fly again. A similar attempt by NASA to develop reusable rockets failed because the cost of making the rockets fit to fly again was simply too much.

Elon Musk , in his press conference after the event, indicated that the Falcon 9 re-launch could have a paying customer on board although things have yet to be finalized. Space X eventually hopes to bring down the turnaround time of the launches to a few weeks and be able to use these rockets up to a hundred times.

Space X is expected to fine tune its abilities to land rockets on water and use this method for two-thirds of its future launches. Rockets like the Falcon 9 can cost upto $60 million to build while the cost to refuel them is only about $200,000. With the ability to recover rockets and send them into space again, the company stands to have an extremely competitive edge over competitors.

Now that one company has achieved it, other space agencies and private companies cannot afford not to.

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