Anytime you hear about new footage from SpaceX, you know you’re in for a treat. Never heard of SpaceX? They are a private company founded by Elon Musk (Tesla CEO) that is revolutionizing rocket technology. There rockets are capable of lifting off and landing. Check out the video below to see a 1,000 meter test from earlier this year.
The company’s most recent video shows one of their Falcon 9 rockets making a soft splashdown in the ocean after a trip to space to deliver six satellites. The splashdown took place on July 14, and SpaceX released the video a few days ago.
The video below shows the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage plunging towards the water. Then, it’s engine activates, slowing its descent drastically. A cameraman onboard a chase plane tries to zoom in right as it hits water, but loses sight of the rocket at the last second.
This is a huge step towards eventually having reusable rockets for SpaceX, which would drive the costs of space missions down considerably. SpaceX released a video from onboard the rocket in late July, but ice build-up obstructed much of the view.
SpaceX plans to take additional steps to prevent ice build-up in the future in order to get the best possible video footage.
As I mentioned above, the ability to reuse rockets would have a drastic impact on space mission costs. Musk believes his reusable rockets could cut costs by a factor of 100. This cost reduction would make longer space trips more feasible.
It’s a shame we have to count on private companies to push the boundaries of what’s possible in space. NASA should be on the front lines as well, but funding remains pathetic compared to what we spend in other sectors, such as defense.