Baku, April 17 AZERTAC
After a 24 hour delay due to threatening clouds, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soared spectacularly to orbit from the Florida Space coast today, April 14, carrying a Dragon on a science supply run bound for the International Space Station that will help pave the way for deep space human missions to the Moon, Asteroids and Mars, according to Universe today.
Meanwhile, SpaceX’s bold attempt to land and recover the 14 story tall first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket successfully reached a tiny ocean floating barge in the Atlantic Ocean, but tilted over somewhat over in the final moments of the approach, and tipped over after landing and broke apart.
The Falcon 9 first stage was outfitted with four landing legs and grid fins to enable the landing attempt, which is a secondary objective of SpaceX.
The top priority was to safely launch the Falcon 9 and deliver critical supplies to the station with the Dragon cargo vessel.
“Five years ago this week, President Obama toured the same SpaceX launch pad used today to send supplies, research and technology development to the ISS,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
“Back then, SpaceX hadn’t even made its first orbital flight. Today, it’s making regular flights to the space station and is one of two American companies, along with The Boeing Company, that will return the ability to launch NASA astronauts to the ISS from U.S. soil and land then back in the United States. That’s a lot of progress in the last five years, with even more to come in the next five.”
“Looks like Falcon landed fine, but excess lateral velocity caused it to tip over post landing,” tweeted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
A chase plane captured dramatic footage of the landing on the ocean going platform known as the ‘autonomous spaceport drone ship’ (ASDS).
It was pre-positioned some 200 to 250 miles offshore of the Carolina coast in the Atlantic Ocean along the rockets flight path flying along the US Northeast coast to match that of the ISS.
The ASDS measures only 300 by 100 feet, with wings that extend its width to 170 feet.