|Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photo Credit: SpaceX|
SpaceX First Stage Hard Lands On Drone Ship
For the first time in space history, SpaceX attempted to land its Falcon 9 first stage rocket onto an autonomous spaceport drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean following the launch.
The attempt resulted in mixed success for SpaceX. The first stage made it to the drone ship in fog and pitch black darkness – but it hard landed and broke into pieces.
“Unfortunately we weren’t able to get good landing video because of the dark and fog, but we are in the process of evaluating invaluable telemetry data which will inform future attempts,” SpaceX announced on its blog.
“Close, but no cigar this time. Bodes well for the future tho,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted following the attempt. “Ship itself is fine. Some of the support equipment on the deck will need to be replaced.”
|SpaceX autonomous drone ship. Photo Credit: SpaceX.|
Meanwhile, the Dragon capsule is scheduled to rendezvous with the ISS on Monday, January 12. Dragon’s cargo will support more than 250 experiments that will be conducted by the station’s Expeditions 42 and 43 crews.