Falcon 9-R Flies to 1 Kilometer

SpaceX released this video of the Falcon 9-R rising to 1000 meters today.

What a way to end a week marked by the bitter battle between SpaceX and United Launch Alliance over the right to compete against 30 year old technology developed by the Soviet Union, the sweet sights and sound of progress being made in skies over Texas.

It comes as wordless reminder that in the long run, the real issue is not the purchase of Russian engines and possible violations of current trade policy.  It is not even disputed contracts in the EELV program, although those are more important than many people realize, and not just for SpaceX.

In the big picture, one American company is making visible,  steady, and sometimes spectacular progress not in stunts, but in advancing the art of space launch. The other is not, and what a shame that is.

SpaceX’s next attempt at a flight booster recovery will come in just over a week, as the next Falcon 9 mission is scheduled to launch on Saturday, May 10th in a window which opens at 9:39 AM EDT. With a relatively light payload of 6 Orbcomm OG2 satellites and a lower orbital inclination than the NASA CRS-3 mission, the first stage will have an opportunity to return to a possible soft landing in the Atlantic, one much closer to Cape Canaveral, and hopefully, calmer seas than the April 18th flight to ISS.




Posted in: SpaceX

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