Now that SpaceX launches have become part of our daily routine, it is sometimes easy to forget how significant the achievements of this private space company have been since its inception in 2002. Then, SpaceX noted an ambitious goal: to develop a flight system that could reuse its main components to significantly reduce the cost of space missions. An important part of this goal was the idea of vertical landing of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on a floating barge or on a landing pad. At the time of the emergence of this concept, it seemed incredible.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 15, 2023
The first attempts to land the first stage of the rocket ended in explosions. Therefore, few people believed in the success of this idea. However, after the first-ever safe landing of the Falcon 9 first stage in 2015, the SpaceX team continued to refine and develop this idea. Today, SpaceX boasts impressive statistics: 272 successful launches, 235 first-stage landings and 207 orbital entrances. Moreover, several Falcon 9 boosters have already managed to carry out as many as 17 reusable flights.
The last launch of the Falcon 9 took place at Cape Canaveral in Florida on October 13 in the evening. Despite the superstitious date, the flight was a success. This mission was dedicated to the deployment of 22 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit. Starlink is SpaceX’s Internet service, which has already managed to gain popularity due to its capabilities, and also helps the Armed Forces of Ukraine to resist Russian aggression. SpaceX regularly uses Falcon 9 to deploy new Starlink satellites in space to cover a larger area of the Earth and provide access to high-speed Internet in remote regions.
Friday’s mission was the 14th flight for the first stage of the launch vehicle. This rocket has an impressive list of previous missions, including launches of CRS-22, Crew-3, Turksat 5B, Crew-4, CRS-25, Eutelsat HOTBIRD 13G, mPOWER-a, PSN SATRIA spacecraft, and now six Starlink missions.
Of course, an important part of this success is the technological breakthrough that allowed SpaceX to land the first stages of rockets for reuse. Therefore, SpaceX shared a 60-second video showing all the key moments of the last Falcon 9 mission. The video shows a quick start, an impressive moment of satellite deployment, as well as the completion of the mission — the successful landing of the first stage of the launch vehicle.
Looking at the history of the SpaceX mission, we remind ourselves what a big step this company has taken on the way to space exploration and what incredible opportunities are open to it. SpaceX continues to work on the improvement and development of space technologies, and future innovations will undoubtedly bring even more admiration and achievements in the field of exploration of the Universe.
Earlier, we reported on how SpaceX showed the amazing moment of the Falcon 9’s return from space.
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