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Space X Finally Lands its Falcon 9 First Stage Back on Earth

22 Dec 2015, 04:56 UTC
Space X Finally Lands its  Falcon 9 First Stage Back on Earth
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A private company, Space X, has, finally, managed to safely land the first stage of its Falcon 9 spacecraft back on Earth in Florida, successfully deploying several satellites into Earth orbit.  The Falcon 9 upper stage booster, however, will not be recovered which, of course, makes this spacecraft only partially reusable-- just as NASA's Space Shuttle was. NASA, of course, operated its partially reusable crewed spacecraft (the Space Shuttle) for more than 30 years, recovering the reusable space plane (Space Shuttle Orbiter) and twin solid rocket boosters (SRBs) after every flight. But the dramatically lower cost that was predicted for the Space Shuttle program never came to fruition thanks to a couple of fatal accidents and a high launch demand that never became a reality-- for both commercial and political reasons. It should also be noted that NASA's cancelled Ares I program was also supposed to have a recoverable and reusable first stage based on the legacy of the Space Shuttle's solid rocket boosters. The next step for Space X will be to refurbish the recovered Falcon 9 booster and its engines in order see if the first stage booster can successfully fly again and be successfully recovered again. How costly and ...

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