Falcon 9 by SpaceX makes a successful landing
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, popularly known as the SpaceX, is an aerospace manufacturer and services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It took birth in the year 2002 by a well know entrepreneur and philanthropist Elon Reeve Musk. It has successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center Launchpad on February 19th, 2017.
What is so significant about the launch?
February 18th, 2017 was the date initially scheduled for the launch at 10:01 am ET (Eastern Time). However, a problem related to steering was noticed by the officials in the upper portion of the vehicle. Hence they had to cancel the launch. It was aborted just thirteen seconds before the liftoff. The following day was the one that included all the joy. February 19th was marked as a day of real success as the launch event went as planned.
This landing makes the company deliver its eighth Falcon 9 spacecraft to successfully make a landing. The total number of attempts being fourteen. This feat is the third recorded to make its rocket land on solid ground. The event is also the first ever to be done during the daytime. Eight minutes after the launch, the rocket took a turn at the edge of the atmosphere and made a return journey. It flew back to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The event included a massive sonic boom above the sea.
Falcon 9 and the reason behind the launch
The Falcon 9 is a 210-foot long rocket developed by SpaceX. The primary purpose of it is to resupply the ISS (International Space Station). The rocket carried the Dragon Cargo aircraft which disappeared into the clouds after liftoff from the KSC’s 39A Launchpad at 9.39 am ET (Eastern Time). The spacecraft consisted of about 5,500 pounds of cargo on board. The freight included food, science equipment, and research experiments.
Agreement with NASA – KSC Launchpad
The Kennedy Space Center launch pad initially hosted numerous Apollo Missions which were highly reputed. It was last used nearly six years ago by shuttle astronauts and did not see any action later. It was only until 2014 when SpaceX signed a lease agreement with NASA to refurbish the 39A Launchpad at KSC. The company had plans to use the launch site for future purposes including the Falcon 9 launch. The significant modifications to the pad included changes in the ground propellant systems.
Before the changes to the KSC’s 39A pad, the fuels used were liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The Falcon 9 also uses liquid oxygen, but the fluid is kept much colder and uses a more refined form of kerosene also known as RP-1.
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