The space exploration company owned by billionaire executive Elon Musk, SpaceX, accomplished another impressive goal on Friday by making its second consecutive landing at sea.
One of its Falcon X rockets took off from Cape Canaveral on Friday to send a communications satellite, “into an orbit more than 20,000 miles (32,200 km) beyond that of the International Space Station, which is about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth,” reported Reuters.
The satellite came in at an approximate 10,300 pounds, which is a weight that has affected the ability for SpaceX rockets to land in the past.
In April, another Falcon 9 rocket was able to launch an 11,000 pound satellite into orbit, but the weight of the cargo caused a reduction in fuel needed to slow the rocket’s descent to earth ultimately causing an explosive hard landing.
However, this latest rocket traveled at twice the speed of the first rocket that landed out on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean, which could be a reason why this return trip occurred smoothly.
Musk and his team initially downplayed expectations for this project, but the SpaceX quickly tweeted out “Woohoo!” after the smooth landing. He added, “May Need to increase size of rocket storage hangar,” according to Reuters.
This successful landing will help propel Musk’s company towards a future where it wants to provide cheaper spaceflight. Ocean landings would be ideal for SpaceX because this system offers a way to reduce fuel requirements needed for high-speed travel.
Watch the launch below:
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