SpaceX will try its luck in landing a Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral, the news coming just as Blue Origin seems to have got the handle and an advance start.
As Blue Origin completed the first successful landing on solid ground, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is putting aside ambitions to land its commercial space rockets in the middle of the ocean. Recently, it has surfaced that the commercial spaceflight company has set eyes on a different goal. This time, it will try and hopefully succeed to launch and land a Falcon 9 on ground successfully.
According to NASA officials meeting at the Kennedy Space Center 39A Pad, SpaceX will try its luck in landing a Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral in the near future. SpaceX is among the top candidates to ferry NASA astronauts to space in the following years. With testings being completed almost regularly, Elon Musk’s commercial spaceflight company has good prospects lying ahead.
However, the landing tests to be conducted at Cape Canaveral will see unmanned Falcon 9 launches and landings of course. It’s still too early in the game to assume safety of a crew. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is also receiving much more attention as of late. SpaceX took over its own turf, while Blue Origin also took over the Launch Complex 36. Carol Scott, who is with the Commercial Crew Program at NASA declared as to SpaceX’s future plans:
“Their plan it to try to land (the next booster) out here on the Cape-side”.
There has been no confirmation as of yet from SpaceX. However, it makes one wonder what could have changed Elon Musk’s mind. From landing the Falcon 9 booster on ocean barges to landing in on land, there is a long way. Speculations as to Blue Origin’s success in acting as a trigger have been recurrent in the media.
As Blue Origin successfully landed the New Shepard booster after it reached the 329,839 feet in altitude, Elon Musk congratulated the company and Jeff Bezos. SpaceX has been trying numerous times to land the Falcon 9 boosters on ocean barges. With one partially successful landing last year, the commercial spaceflight company still has to get a grip on the technique. Perhaps ground landing will bring more luck.
In June this year, one Falcon 9 booster launch went terribly wrong when the rocket exploded on its way to orbit. Nonetheless, failure is as much part of the business as success is. A pioneer in the field, SpaceX is expected to last long on the scene. Yet, as it all trickles down to approvals, the next launching-landing of a Falcon 9 booster is largely dependent on the FAA commercial launch license.
Photo Credits: Flickr