The Historic Landing of the Falcon Rocket
On Monday evening, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket returned to flight by orbiting 11 Orbcomm satellites. These global messaging service satelites fly in Low Earth Orbit to allow low-power access by their customers. Plus, because they do not fly in fixed-point orbits like other communications satellites, they provide intermittent messaging access to areas that typical communications satellites can’t usually reach.
In addition, for the first time in history, the first stage of an orbital launch system returned home and landed under its own power…no sea water in the engines, no wave action damage, and no legacy spaceflight garbage at the bottom of the ocean. Since the dawn of orbital spaceflight, every orbital launch first-stage, except this one, has crashed or otherwise fallen back to Earth or sea and either been destroyed or required lengthy and expensive refurbishment. This has, in the eyes of many, kept spaceflight unnecessarily expensive, hobbling humanity to Low Earth Orbit.
The goals of SpaceX in pursuing this landmark achievement are two-fold…
- To dramatically lower the cost of spaceflight through true, routine, quick-turnaround re-usability of orbital launch components.
- To develop, test, and improve technologies that will some day allow round-trip access to Mars.
Today is the day that orbital spaceflight joins suborbital and atmospheric flight as fully turn-around reusable. Soon, the whims and corruption of politics and empires will no longer hamper the progress of space exploration, because the cost will no longer require the decisions and funding of governments.
Mark this day..it will become a holiday. From here on out, the sky’s NOT the limit. If you have any inventions or business ideas that require $500-$800 per pound to launch to Low Earth Orbit in order to be viable, warm them up! Watch the above video and witness the first step of our planet’s next giant leap into space.
ULA? Arianespace? ROSCosmos? Your turn! No, I don’t want to hear anymore of your whining and sour grapes. Admit that SpaceX topped you today and then go out and land a booster. If upstart companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin can do it, then why can’t you? Why didn’t you do it decades ago? Is it because you like crashing your boosters, so that you can sell your customers brand-new rockets with each and every launch?