On Monday night, when SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket landed back on the Earth, Elon Musk thought his rocket had exploded like the last time. However, the Falcon landed beautifully after launching satellites into the orbit, and the ground-breaking return of the flight was cheered maddeningly.
“The Falcon has landed,” a SpaceX commentator announced during the live webcast, against the exciting chants of “USA! USA!” by those witnessing the phenomenon.
“It really felt like it was right on top of us,” Elon Musk, CEO of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation.
Musk further added that the first stage of the Falcon 9 landed “dead center on the landing pad. … We could not have asked for a better mission.” A proud Musk called it a “revolutionary moment.”
Generally rockets are used only once wherein after launch, they either burn or crash into the ocean. But with Musk (and Jeffrey P. Bezos, CEO of Amazon, who too owns a space company) trying to make reusable rockets to reduce the cost of space flights, the journey to the outer world is changing dramatically.
This is why – despite this launch being the second attempt this month and delayed due to technical reasons – the success comes as a huge leap forward right into the cosmos.
Also, this was SpaceX’s first flight since its Falcon 9 rocket had blown up while landing in June this year. But this time around, Musk made sure that he was launching a more powerful rocket to send payloads right into the orbits.
Hence, the Falcon 9 rocket took flight at 8:29 PM on Monday with a mission to deliver 11 commercial satellites – for a communications company, Orbcomm – into the orbit. A few minutes into the launch, the rocket made a dramatic turn-around and made its journey back to the Earth; landing beautifully on the Cape-Landing Zone 1 in Florida.