KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – After a 24 hour delay due to threatening clouds, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soared spectacularly to orbit from the Florida Space coast today, April 14, carrying a Dragon on a science supply run bound for the the International Space Station that will help pave the way for deep space human missions to the Moon, Asteroids and Mars.
Meanwhile, SpaceX’s bold attempt to land and recover the 14 story tall first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket successfully reached a tiny ocean floating barge in the Atlantic Ocean, but tilted over somewhat over in the final moments of the approach, and tipped over after landing and broke apart. Here’s a Vine video posted on Twitter by Elon Musk:
See the video of the launch, below.
SpaceX will continue with attempt to soft land and recover the rocket on upcoming launches, which was a secondary goal of the company. SpaceX released some imagery and video with a few hours of the landing attempt.
The Falcon 9 first stage was outfitted with four landing legs and grid fins to enable the landing attempt, which is a secondary objective of SpaceX.
The top priority was to safely launch the Falcon 9 and deliver critical supplies to the station with the Dragon cargo vessel.
“Five years ago this week, President Obama toured the same SpaceX launch pad used today to send supplies, research and technology development to the ISS, ” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
“Back then, SpaceX hadn’t even made its first orbital flight. Today, it’s making regular flights to the space station and is one of two American companies, along with The Boeing Company, that will return the ability to launch NASA astronauts to the ISS from U.S. soil and land then back in the United States. That’s a lot of progress in the last five years, with even more to come in the next five.”
“Looks like Falcon landed fine, but excess lateral velocity caused it to tip over post landing, ” tweeted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
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