SpaceX Dragon Departs ISS for Splashdown


Hat’s off to SpaceX for releasing footage of their attempt to safely land their first stage on a barge so they could reuse it.  The fact that they hit a barge in the middle of the ocean at all is pretty incredible.  Their ultimate goal is to soft land it so they can reuse their rocket engines.  Of course, the engines would have to be refurbished between every shot, but this could end up being an incredible cost savings for low earth orbit resupply missions.  When you watch this video, don’t think about how much money this cost to not work…. but how much future savings something like this could represent!


SpaceX releases video of Falcon 9 landing attempt.

Earlier this morning, I posted an article on Elon Musk’s tweets to John Carmack showing images of the Falcon 9 attempting to land on the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship following the CRS-5 launch last week.

Those images appear to have been video stills from a camera on the barge, and taken from the above video. SpaceX posted this footage to their Vine account at 11:53 AM EST today. 

You can see the booster approaching the barge at a 45 degree angle following the failure of the hypersonic grid fins. This failure was caused by not enough hydraulic fluid in the grid fin control system, which in turn powered the system down. 

The engine section of the booster explodes upon impact with the ASDS’s surface, causing residual booster propellant to explode. The upper portion of the booster continues to fall, careening off the side of the ship and into the ocean.

This is incredible footage of an extremely difficult maneuver. SpaceX will again attempt to land the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket following the January 31 launch of DSCOVR.

As Musk himself echoes in the Vine’s title: “Close, but no cigar. This time.”


Crew Dragon pad abort test - from the capsule’s perspective.

SpaceX has released incredible onboard footage from the crew Dragon pad abort test earlier this month.

Three cameras were used to compile the video; one mounted on the north-facing side of the capsule, just above a SuperDraco engine, one looking upwards just below the parachute compartment, and one looking sideways to the right of the trunk/capsule umbilical connector.

Of particular interest to see is the structure of the forward portion of the trunk compartment and the structural connections to the capsule.

Additionally, the cameras also recorded sound during the 90 second test. The full video can be seen here.

Click here for our pad abort coverage.


We live in special times: SpaceX is developing reusable rockets that could lower the cost of going to space by more than 50%.

Their next attempt to land a rocket may be successful, ushering in an era where we don’t need to build a new rocket every time we want to launch


SpaceX Founder Releases Photos of Rocket’s Crash Landing

“It came down with a crash and a flash. 

A camera on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean captured this remarkably successful failure, as the Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne, Calif., or SpaceX, attempted to land the first stage of one of its Falcon 9 rockets.

The rocket had just successfully lofted cargo to the International Space Station. Typically, rockets are tossed away as trash in the ocean.

Had the effort succeeded, it might have heralded an era of reusable rocketsand much cheaper launchings. Still, just hitting a 170-foot-by-300 foot target in the middle of the ocean was significant progress.

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s chief executive, on Friday posted on Twitter a series of pictures and video taken as the rocket stage neared the landing pad.”

(via nytimes)


SpaceX’s first stage attempt to land an unmanned rocket back to Earth (January 2015). A very tough engineering challenge they almost completed! January 16, 2015.

Source: SpaceX


Interstellar Series - Space Exploration

‘We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements.’ - Cooper, Interstellar

Inspired by Interstellar, this minimalist poster series counts down some of mankind’s greatest space missions from landing on Mars to walking on the Moon. Each poster focuses on capturing a pioneering space mission by simplifying a key element or defining part of the expedition. This project endeavours to inspire a sense of wonder and enthusiasm toward space exploration and discovery.


Falcon 9