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Data now suggests that SpaceX successfully achieved a controlled landing of its Falcon 9 first stage on Friday.

The competition heats up: Data now suggests that SpaceX successfully achieved a controlled landing of its Falcon 9 first stage on Friday.

The stage itself has not yet been recovered due to heavy seas, but all evidence points to a soft splashdown in the ocean. While I expect them to continue to do this over the ocean, until they get good footage of the landing as well as recover the stage, the next real step is to land the thing over land. The link above also has video of the vertical take-off/landing of Falcon 9R on Friday, which proves they are beginning to prove this capability as well.

In related news, Dragon was successfully berthed to ISS today.

Posted from Boulder, Colorado.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Pzatchok

    It would be nice to know exactly how close they came to hitting their planned landing spot?

    Something that will have to be done if they plan on setting a landing zone someplace and hitting it in the future.

    I also wonder just how short they are of making a single complete orbit? Something that will have to be done if they ever plan on landing back at their launch site.

  • Tom Billings

    SpaceX has repeatedly spoken of flying back the first stage to the launch site from downrange. Even the Falcon9R first stage needs to re-enter far below orbital velocity to keep from breaking up on re-entry with a propulsive re-entry. Thus, it will not ever come close to a single complete orbit.

    It is the *second* stage that will make at least one full orbit, and then re-enter with a heat shield on its front end to bring it down at the launch site. Given Earth’s rotational velocity under the vehicle’s orbital plane, this may tak 24 hours or more to line up with the launch site again.

  • Richard

    Gwynne Shotwell for President

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