Recycled Falcon 9 rocket survives one of SpaceX’s most challenging landings yet1 min read

Yestreday at 3:10pm Eastern, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lofted a Bulgarian communications satellite into space. While BulgariaSat-1 was still making its way into its proper orbit, the first stage of the rocket returned for a landing on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You.

SpaceX has landed its boosters on drone ships many times before, but this one was a particular challenge.

The rocket, which was refurbished after its first launch in January of this year, had to send BulgariaSat-1 into a particularly high orbit today. That means the booster had to endure extra heat—and thus extra jostling—while crashing back into Earth’s atmosphere. The land wasn’t super smooth, but the rocket survived, and that’s pretty impressive.
Elon Musk on Twitter

Elon Musk on Twitter

This is SpaceX’s second time flying a used rocket—an important component to proving that its reusable rockets might actually make spaceflight cheaper. Whereas the first reused rocket waited a year between its two launches, today’s launch shows that SpaceX is able to refurbish the Falcon 9 first stage boosters in six months or less. Quick refurbishment is key to cutting the costs of spaceflight. Ultimately, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hopes to fly the boosters out again the next day—so there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

Sebastien Clarke
Sebastien Clarke

Astronaut is dedicated to bringing you the latest news, reviews and information from the world of space, entertainment, sci-fi and technology. With videos, images, forums, blogs and more, get involved today & join our community!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from

You have Successfully Subscribed!