Falcon 9 launch puts Dragon in orbit

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

The competition heats up: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has successfully put its fifth Dragon cargo freighter into orbit, with a docking at ISS scheduled for Tuesday.

Spaceflight Now’s status update above also noted that this is the 13th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since 2010. All these flights have successfully put their primary payloads into orbit as promised, an amazing track record for a new rocket built by a new company only in existence for less than a decade.



  • mpthompson

    Bravo. Looking forward to hearing the results of the booster landing test on this go around.

  • There was no first stage soft splashdown this time. I noted this fact last week. They didn’t explain why, but I suspect it was because of the Falcon 9R failure last month, combined with their effort to launch this rocket in a short turn-around.

  • Phillip

    I think one of the posts in the webcast said booster reentry attempt with low probability of success.


  • Pzatchok

    I can see them testing the landing equipment they do have on board. Why waste the materials effort and time when you could get a few bits of extra information out of what you have?

    I just can’t see a recoverable/reusable rocket coming from this landing.

  • The first stage flown on this launch did not have landing legs. They were very clear about that. As they were very close-mouthed about the whole thing it is possible they still attempted a soft splashdown anyway, but I got a very different impression.

    Nonetheless, if they did try it, all to the best. I will gladly look forward to more cool videos and good engineering data.

  • ToMarsAndBeyond

    On this CRS-4 mission both the first and second stage were re-fired to sample as much test data as possible for re-usability. Landing legs were not attached but soft landing was attempted.

  • ken anthony

    I had a bet with somebody about this. I’m sure I’ve earned my soda by now.

Leave a Reply

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