The company’s media team spliced together some choice highlights that include new, more detailed footage of the crucial seconds prior to the rocket’s dramatic touchdown. It also features high-tech space machinery, cheering crowds, and a peppy soundtrack. The editors even managed to squeeze in a shot of a tense-looking Elon Musk.
Musk’s space company nailed its first-ever rocket landing in December following a number of earlier setbacks. The success allows it to move forward with its ambitious project to create a reusable rocket system to drastically reduce the cost of space travel.
SpaceX is already gearing up for its next challenge – to safely land one of its rockets on a floating platform in the sea. Measuring 91 x 52 meters (300 x 170 ft), the platform will float unanchored in an as-yet unspecified location in the Pacific, with attached engines and GPS sensors keeping it in position to within three meters.
Two previous sea-platform attempts ended in failure, but if the team can prove it now has the capability to perform such a landing, it’d give SpaceX more options when it comes to planning future missions.
With confidence at an all-time high and the team’s experience growing with every launch and landing, SpaceX knows it has its best chance yet to accomplish the sea landing, and few will be betting against it happening.
So long as weather conditions permit, SpaceX’s next rocket launch will take place at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base on January 17 in a mission that’ll mark the first orbital rocket launch from U.S. soil this year. The mission will take NASA’s Jason-3 monitoring satellite into orbit.
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