SpaceX is celebrating the successful return of their rocket booster, the Falcon 9, to terra firma today after its third successful mission into space and back, this time to make history by launching the first privately funded lunar mission in history.
A Perfect Touchdown
The Falcon 9 rocket soared into the Sky at a difficult time for Elon Musk.
Already facing criticism from Wall Street investors about profitability, yesterday Tesla was hit with the news that Consumer Reports was rescinding its recommendation for the Tesla Model 3 due to reports of declining performance. So the successful launch for SpaceX and its history-making mission couldn’t have come at a better time.
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Lifting off at 8:45 pm EST, the Falcon 9 was able to make it up to the edge of space and put its payloads into orbit before falling back to earth eight minutes later.
The recovery of the booster rocket was very difficult as weather conditions were hardly optimal, but the Falcon 9 was able to successfully land on the drone barge Tesla uses for recovery efforts.
This is the third time this rocket booster has been sent up into space and successfully returned, passing a crucial test about whether it could survive re-entry conditions in the future. Musk plans to go even further and fly this booster in an in-flight abort test to be taken later this year.