We all like rocket trajectories. The countdown, the immense thrust and step-wise separation of boosters provide an astonishing view and insight into the space travel. But you must have thought about what happens to the rocket boosters that detach themselves from the main rocket. Well, they fall somewhere on the Earth (mostly oceans) and cannot be used again. So, every time a rocket goes up, several of these engineering marvels are disposed of off along with what fuel is left in its chambers. This increases the costs associated with space travel that are also hampering the advances in space travel for quite some time. SpaceX and its CEO Elon Musk, are trying hard to find a way to land these boosters on pads for reuse.
So far, three attempts have been made, and a leaked video of the latest experiment shows just how close SpaceX is in achieving this landmark landing.
Once compared to balancing a broomstick in one hand, the vertical landing of the rocket booster is indeed a difficult task. In the latest attempt last Tuesday, the booster hovers around the landing barge and even lands on the surface. Once it has landed, it fails to compensate the tilt resulting in a colossal explosion and destruction of both the rocket and the landing pad. However, this is not that discouraging as previous attempts were far worse than this. This time, at least the rocket was able to land which it couldn’t do in earlier attempts. The company had given 50-50 odds of landing the rocket safely, and the attempt shows how true their prediction was to the word.
Take a look at the full leaked video here:
The rocket was a part of mission Falcon9 that is currently docking at the International Space Station. The failed manoeuvre was attempted once the booster was separated from the spaceship. The United Launch Alliance aims to send a reusable rocket in space by 2019 in order to slash space costs and end US dependence on Russian-built rockets.
SpaceX is one of the exclusive two companies in the world given a contract by NASA to carry cargo to the international space station. As well as freight, it is also working on passenger rockets.