WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
- SpaceX’s re-useable rockets have helped revolutionise and lower the cost of space exploration, and the Falcon 9 just stuck another landing
SpaceX, whose larger reusable Falcon Heavy rockets will one day take colonists to Mars, successfully landed a Falcon 9 rocket for the eleventh time this weekend and the company just released the footage. The short clip was shot in 4K resolution, and at 60 frames per second, so it offers a stellar view of the rocket landing right near the beach at Cape Canaveral.
The footage, apparently shot from a drone, shows the landing in great detail and you can even see the rocket kick up debris on the landing pad as it approaches the bullseye. The landing was on the money thanks, according to Elon Musk, to some clever thinking from the SpaceX team who painted the target with radio reflective paint that helped helped the rocket split the company’s trademark “X” straight down the middle.
This was the fifth time the company landed a rocket on solid ground because most of its landings so far have been at sea where the Falcon 9 rockets land on an autonomous barge. While SpaceX is consistently able to stick those landings the early attempts at landing in the ocean were marked with explosions thanks to the sheer number of variables but recently the company has stuck every single attempt to land a rocket at Cape Canaveral, dating all the way back to December 2015, when it first landed.