After a long hiatus since the anomalous massive explosion of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida’s rocket launch pad in September, SpaceX finally showed the world that it’s ready to launch rockets again.
SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket, as expected, from an alternative launch site in Vandenberg, California on Saturday, taking a satellite system for Iridium Communications into Earth’s orbit to improve the third-party company’s communications system.
Image Credit: AP via FOX News
The two-stage rocket not only cleared the ground without any problems, but the rocket also separated as expected, high in the skies, and then the first stage successfully landed upright on a drone ship just south of Vandenberg in the Pacific Ocean, a feat SpaceX is known for.
According to SpaceX, the company tracked down every possible situation that could have caused the anomalous explosion in the Cape Canaveral, Florida incident with the help of the top officials from organizations like NASA, the United States Air Force, and more. With the knowledge they obtained, the company perfected their rocket design to ensure such an explosion wouldn’t happen again.
The original explosion was reportedly due to a breach in the LOX (liquid oxygen) tank, where a buckled liner allowed LOX to accumulate, become trapped, and increase friction, which later lead to an explosion.
Now that SpaceX appears to have solved this problem, an explosion due to the same mistake that caused the previous one is unlikely, so SpaceX just has to keep their rockets in service long enough to prove to everyone that their rockets are reliable.
SpaceX is, of course, using a reusable type of rocket, which means the first stage can be re-filled and used again for another launch attempt. This is supposedly the new age of space travel, cutting costs and allowing more commercial companies to develop spatial influence.
The cost of refueling a rocket is around $250,000, while building a completely new Falcon 9 rocket for each and every launch is more akin to $16,000,000, hence why reusable rocket technology is something SpaceX wants to perfect for future space travel missions.
Fortunately, this successful launch means SpaceX can probably get back into the game. The only challenge now is finishing up the repairs for the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, which were destroyed as a result of the explosion. Once fixed, SpaceX can launch from its home turf again.
You can watch the launch in all of its glory here:
Source: FOX News