SpaceX has posted a cool new video showing a recent mission from launch to landing.
The sped-up footage (below) came via a camera attached to a Falcon 9 rocket and even includes the original sounds (albeit faster than normal) that were recorded at the time.
The dramatic video was captured during last month’s SAOCOM 1B mission, which placed an Earth-observing satellite into orbit for Argentina’s CONAE space agency.
Following the Falcon 9’s launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the rocket’s first stage returned to Landing Zone 1 in what was SpaceX’s first on-shore booster landing since March 2020. All of the landings for missions since then had taken place on a drone ship waiting in the Atlantic.
Soon after the successful on-shore landing, SpaceX posted a video taken from the sky showing the booster coming back to base and landing upright in a feat that never fails to impress.
Landing the booster is an important part of SpaceX’s ongoing work to build a fully reusable rocket system to significantly cut the cost of space missions. Besides the first-stage booster, SpaceX also reuses the capsule that sits atop the rocket, and is on its way to perfecting a method for retrieving the two fairing halves by catching them in giant nets as they drift back to Earth using parachutes shortly after launch.
It’s exploring the possibility of recovering the second-stage booster, too, though this is a more complex maneuver as it needs to be brought down after achieving orbital velocity.
The commercial space transportation company is currently hard at work building and testing its much more powerful Starship rocket, which could take its first orbital test flight as early as 2021.
When fully developed, the Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket (together referred to as Starship) will be capable of carrying up to 100 people and cargo to Earth orbit, the moon, Mars, and possibly beyond.
Starship will launch atop the first-stage Super Heavy rocket, which will be powered by 31 Raptor engines. The plan is that once in space, Starship will use a smaller set of Raptor engines to travel between different destinations, with its design enabling it to land back on Earth or another planet.
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