Saturday, July 30, 2016

SpaceX Test Fires Recovered Falcon 9 Rocket

MACGREGOR, Texas - In another space history milestone, SpaceX completed a full duration test fire of a recovered Falcon 9 first stage rocket on Thursday at the aerospace company's test facility in MacGregor, Texas.

The Falcon 9 rocket had been recovered after successfully launching a JCSAT-14 communications satellite into Geo Stationary Transfer Orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida and then landing onto the deck of the “Of Course I Still Love You” Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship in the Atlantic Ocean back in early May.

The three-minute long test appears to have been completed without incident in the video. However, SpaceX has not yet released any data related to the test results following the test firing.

Reusable rockets are viewed by the aerospace industry as the next step in cutting costs for payload deliveries into near space.  Although there are several options to recover first stage rockets such as parachutes, SpaceX has opted for a controlled descent as a means of achieving a rapidly reusable rocket that returns to the launch pad just minutes after payload delivery.

SpaceX has successfully launched and landed a total of five Falcon 9 rockets - two on land and three on drone ships in the ocean.

Photo and video credit: SpaceX