SpaceX Attemps Soft Landing Of Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX is set to launch their Dragon robot capsule for its latest adventure into space to take supplies to the International Space Station and then have the Falcon 9 rocket return and land on a spaceport platform in an attempt to reuse the Falcon 9 rocket. The launch is scheduled for today at 4:33PM EST and will take place from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and can be watched live via NASA TV.

Italian Astronaut To Receive A Special Treat

The ship is loaded with more than two tons of experiments, food and other items. Of special note is a real Italian espresso machine meant to help the ISS astronauts feel more at home during their long missions of travel into orbit. It is being sent up especially for Samantha Cristoforetti, an Italian astronaut. The machine was originally was supposed to be there in January, but was delayed due to a launch explosion earlier in the year.

The espresso maker was christened the “ISSpresso” in honor of the space station. It was specially built by Lavazza, a famous Italian coffee manufacturer, along with Argotec, an engineering company, and the Italian Space Agency. The US space agency, NASA, then made sure it was safe to travel into and use in space.

Mission to Reuse the Falcon 9 Rocket Will Save Money

The Dragon cargo capsule is scheduled to get to the ISS Wednesday, and then will stay there for five weeks and return with new cargo and then travel back to Earth. The first stage of the Falcon 9 is the crucial part of the plan to reuse the Falcon 9 rocket to save money. The rockets are an expensive piece of technology and cost $54 million dollars each. SpaceX is prepared to make its second attempt to land the rocket onto its barge-like landing platform in the Atlantic, dubbed “Just Read the Instructions,” after trying it in January only to have it crash land.

Studies have shown that it came down right on the spot, but hit the deck too hard, so modifications have been made regarding this attempt to reuse the Falcon 9 rocket. The drone ship platform can now handle things like ocean waves and swells more efficiently and SpaceX officials say they believe there is a 75 percent chance of a good landing this time after the Falcon’s travel into space.

If successful, being able to reuse the Falcon 9 rocket would be a tremendous accomplishment for SpaceX, and will ultimately make space travel cheaper. The Falcon 9 consists of two sections, the first is 238-feet tall and the second is 49-feet tall. The first normally burns for a few minutes as it thrusts the cargo into space, while the second burns six minutes and finishes the job of getting the ship into orbit.

The reuse plan for the Falcon 9 rocket means recovering the first stage of the actual rocket instead of letting it break up into pieces in space as usually happens when rockets travel into orbit. SpaceX will fire a secondary set of engines meant for turning it around and bringing it back to Earth to land on the drone ship via a pair of landing legs in an upright position.

A morning coffee strikes me as a beautiful a morning much like one in Moorland: