Earlier this morning, SpaceX successfully completed a safe landing of the Falcon 9 rocket after launching, deploying a payload toward the International Space Station, and returning to earth. The rocket did not attempt to land on a floating barge, as has been the case in earlier tests. It successfully completed a landing on a barge back in April. This is the second time Falcon 9 has launched and returned to the ground for a successful landing.
The Falcon 9 launch was tasked with deploying a payload – the Dragon capsule – to deliver more than 4,400 pounds of new supplies and a future docking system to the International Space Station, CNET explained. A beautiful picture published by SpaceX shows the Dragon on its way to the Space Station while the Falcon rocket makes its way back to earth.
This might sound relatively boring; rockets have been launching and deploying payloads for longer than many of us have been alive. But SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is much different in that it has the ability to return to the launch pad, ready to launch again in a small window of time. In fact, Elon Musk said earlier this morning that “post-landing inspection and all systems look good” already, which means it’s “ready to fly again.”
Out on LZ-1. We just completed the post-landing inspection and all systems look good. Ready to fly again. pic.twitter.com/1OfA8h7Vrf
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 18, 2016