On Tuesday, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral air force station in Florida.
The rocket, carrying a capsule nicknamed Dragon transporting groceries and researching equipment weighing 4300 pounds, is destined for the International Space Station. It is expected to reach the destination on Friday.
The supplies also include an ISSpresso, an espresso maker for astronauts to prepare tea and coffee.
Despite the successful launch, difficulties surfaced while landing the booster on the barge. In a video released by Musk, the rocket tilted while approaching the barge and went off-course.
Falcon 9 first stage landing burn and touchdown on Just Read the Instructions https://t.co/4Te0BfT2Qn
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 15, 2015
Musk tweeted: “Ascent successful. Dragon en route to Space Station. Rocket landed on droneship, but too hard for survival.”
Ascent successful. Dragon enroute to Space Station. Rocket landed on droneship, but too hard for survival.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2015
In January, SpaceX tried to land a Falcon 9 on a floating platform, but it exploded after hitting at an angle. The company aspires to work on its ability to land on sea, and hopes to be able to land on ground one day, according to CNN.
Rockets normally either burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere or fall back into the ocean. But through landing, Musk wants to reuse rockets, thereby cutting costs. On SpaceX’s website, he noted that should they start to “reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred.”
According to Washington Post, SpaceX was engaged in years of development and testing in preparation for Tuesday’s endeavor. In the past, the company has been successful in bringing rockets back to earth, but they crashed and exploded after staying over the ocean for a while.
By being able to reuse rockets, Musk aspires to fulfill his dream of exploring the universe and, one day, even colonize Mars.
SpaceX is the first private company hired by NASA to transport supplies to the ISS. Moreover, it also earned a contract to take astronauts into space, slated to begin in 2017.
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