SpaceX's Next Dragon Spaceship, Rocket-Landing Site Sign Star in Photos

December 1, 2016 – 02:05 pm

Dragon Capsule Leaving SpaceX HeadquartersA sign marks SpaceX's Landing Complex 1 at Cape Canaveral in Florida, formerly Launch Complex 13.
Credit: SpaceX (via Flickr as SpaceX Photos)

Developing fully and rapidly reusable rockets is a key priority for SpaceX. Musk has said that such technology could cut the cost of spaceflight by a factor of 100, perhaps even making Mars colonization economically feasible.

While SpaceX isn't ready to use Landing Complex 1 yet, the company has made a good deal of progress in its quest for reusable boosters. For example, SpaceX tried to land a Falcon 9 first stage on an "autonomous spaceport drone ship" in the Atlantic Ocean during the launch of the previous Dragon cargo mission, which occurred in January. The rocket stage succeeded in hitting its target but landed too hard, exploding on the robotic boat's deck.

SpaceX's Landing Complex 1 SIgn Workers cheers as a Dragon capsule leaves SpaceX headquarters on Feb. 23, 2015.
Credit: SpaceX (via Flickr as SpaceX Photos)

SpaceX will attempt the drone-ship landing again during the April 10 launch, Musk said.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom

AUTHOR BIO

Mike Wall

Michael was a science writer for the Idaho National Laboratory and has been an intern at Wired.com, The Salinas Californian newspaper, and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He has also worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Mike on Google+.

Source: www.space.com

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