SpaceX reusable rocket lands on ocean platform
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida on a NASA cargo run to the International Space Station (ISS), successfully landed a resusable rocket on an ocean platform, known as a drone ship, off the coast of Florida.
The successful landing of resusable rocket on an ocean platform marked another milestone for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and his privately owned Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) as it paves the path for the development of cheap and reusable rocket which can bring down the cost of commercial space launch industry and kick off a new era of affordable private space travel.
Background : The Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule combination won a Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract from NASA in 2008 to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. The first commercial resupply mission to the ISS launched in October 2012. Nasa had not attempted a cargo run with SpaceX since a June 2015 mishap, when an unmanned cargo rocket exploded soon after take-off.
What's on board ?
⇒ Falcon 9 rocket was returning from delivering an inflatable habitat into space for Nasa. The inflatable room has been named as Bigelow Expandable Actitvity Module (BEAM) and has been built by Nevada Company Bigelow Aerospace. The inflatable room is carrying 7,000 pounds' worth of food, supplies, and science experiments to the ISS.
⇒ The inflatable room will attach to the International Space Station (ISS) for a two-year test and become the first such habitat to for humans in orbit. It is made up of aluminium and soft fabric.
⇒ It expands in space and is light weight and also takes minimal space. It creates place for astronauts to live and work and it will be visited periodically by ISS personnel.
⇒ Its test is intended to pave the way towards the use of such rooms for long space trips, including to Mars and this technology could also help to create homes on Mars. It will be tested to see how well it stands up to fluctuating temperatures and high levels of radiation.
Falcon 9 rocket :
♦ Falcon 9 rocket is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), a private space transport services company owned by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.
♦ It is basically used for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. It is powered by liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) propellants.