Another Smooth Landing in the Books for the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket

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falcon 9 rocket
Nadezda Murmakova | Shutterstock.com

Elon Musk is in the news quite a bit lately.

Fears of an AI uprising, brain-to-brain communication, and Hyperloop Pod competitions. Now: another successful landing for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket.

What is next for humanity’s space travel dreams?

Falcon 9 Rocket Sticks Another Landing Click To Tweet
gif of SpaceX Falcon9 rocket takeoff
SpaceX Falcon 9 | Giphy

Cutting Edge Research; Precious Cargo

Amid concerns of a North Korean missile launch, happier news emerged in August.

Elon Musk started the intergalactic travel focused SpaceX in 2002. Its first successful rocket launch, Falcon 1, reached orbit in 2008 making SpaceX (or Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) the first privately funded company to do so.

Due to recovering the Dragon spacecraft in 2010 and a successful trip to the International Space Station in 2012, NASA awarded a further development contract to SpaceX.

The Falcon series rockets serve two separate needs. The Falcon Heavy, scheduled for its inaugural launch in November 2017, aims to “…deliver large payloads to orbit inside a composite fairing, but the rocket can also carry the Dragon spacecraft.” The Falcon 9 is designed to be a reusable two-stage rocket that delivers humans to space. A number of successful missions including recent CRS-12 saw the Falcon 9 delivering Dragon capsules and other cargo to the International Space Station.

So why is this landing such a big deal?

A Lean, Mean Flying Machine

image of SpaceX Falcon9 rocket takeoff
SpaceX

Despite this being the first launch in over a month for the private space company, the Falcon 9 produced stellar results. The rocket capable of reflight delivered 6,400 pounds of resources and supplies (including ice cream) to the International Space Station. Of course, this delivery isn’t nearly as remarkable as the safe and successful landing.

While some of the vehicles were lost in landings on autonomous drone ships, all 6 Falcon 9 rockets that landed on solid ground are 100% intact. 

This means that not only are reusable rockets not just a pipe dream, they are a total reality now.

If SpaceX maintains its current trajectory, rockets such as the Falcon 9 could ease the daunting financial cost of rockets and space travel. That could then lead to increased research and development toward space and intergalactic exploration.

Due to NASA’s tenuous budget situation, SpaceX’s contributions mean that humanity is one step closer to traversing the stars.

The Future of SpaceX

SpaceX launched 11 missions this year, but Q4 of 2017 remains a mystery.

Despite this, one fact stays true: the reusability of the Falcon 9 is cost effective and conscious. Accordingly, the design of the rocket is integral to its main feature of reflight.

That said, as compared to the futuristic looks of Tesla, another Musk industry disrupting startup, the rocket could definitely look a little cooler than it currently does.

Now that American Dragon Ball Z fans have come to age, we’re thinking something like this:

image of Dragon Ball Z spaceship in comparison to SpaceX Falcon9 rocket
Dragon Ball Z | Takao Toyama & Toei Animation

This isn’t by accident though; the design is specific because it is tested. Rocket science or rocketology” isn’t at a point where we can have spaceships commercials similar to car ads as in Star Citizen.

Similarly, we haven’t seen any EVE Online inspired ships or anything close to Warhammer 40k for obvious reasons. Still, a world like that of the Mass Effect video game series might not be far behind. While Elon Musk is constantly pushing the technological envelope, let’s hope he doesn’t end up like The Illusive Man and more like the Capsule Corp from Dragon Ball Z.

What could civilian spaceships look like in 10 years?

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