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They also successfully landed the first stage at the cape. Video below the fold. These first stage landings are becoming entirely routine, which in the long run will probably be their biggest single achievement. Expect this stage to fly again.
Last night John Bachelor emailed me a link to a podcast I did with him from April 2011, six years ago. He has reposted it, entitling it “SpaceX underbids Big Space & the beginning of commercial space supremacy.” During that appearance I noted the signing of SpaceX’s first contract with NRO. That contract led to today’s launch.
About the same time I posted a story describing NASA’s first small development contracts for commercial manned capsules, awarded to Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada, SpaceX and Boeing. In that post, I predicted the following about this commercial effort:
I bet they all get their rockets/capsules launched and in operation, supplying cargos and crews to low Earth orbit, before NASA even test fires its heavy-lift rocket [SLS].
Looks like that’s a prediction that will turn out true.