View Full Version : Falcon 9 - ORBCOMM landing video, plans

2014-Jul-22, 09:06 PM
YESSssss ....


Following last week's successful launch of six ORBCOMM satellites, the Falcon 9 rocketís first stage reentered Earthís atmosphere and soft landed in the Atlantic Ocean. This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able consistently to reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity.

After landing, the vehicle tipped sideways as planned to its final water safing state in a nearly horizontal position. The water impact caused loss of hull integrity, but we received all the necessary data to achieve a successful landing on a future flight. Going forward, we are taking steps to minimize the build up of ice and spots on the camera housing in order to gather improved video on future launches.

At this point, we are highly confident of being able to land successfully on a floating launch pad or back at the launch site and refly the rocket with no required refurbishment. However, our next couple launches are for very high velocity geostationary satellite missions, which donít allow enough residual propellant for landing. In the longer term, missions like that will fly on Falcon Heavy, but until then Falcon 9 will need to fly in expendable mode.

We will attempt our next water landing on flight 13 [CRS-4] of Falcon 9, but with a low probability of success. Flights 14 and 15 will attempt to land on a solid surface with an improved probability of success.

Video link.... (http://youtu.be/CQnR5fhCXkQ)

2014-Jul-22, 10:23 PM
Nice - they have done well. Wish them luck for the landing on land.

2014-Jul-23, 12:13 AM
Hypersonic retrofire


2014-Jul-23, 01:10 AM

2014-Jul-23, 02:05 AM
Woo hoo, go Space X! :D Legs deployed AND a successful landing!

John Q Public
2014-Jul-23, 06:44 AM
Flights 14 and 15 will attempt to land on a solid surface

I am really psyched to see this... :)

From the mention of the 'floating launch pad', I'm assuming that's what they're going to try before eventually attempting returning to the (or near the) launch site on later flights.

According to wiki, flight thirteen is scheduled for September 12, fourteen for October and fifteen for December.

Bravo, SpaceX! :clap:

2014-Jul-23, 07:48 AM
AsiaSat 8 is August 4, AsiaSat 6 is NET August 25 and CRS-4 (flt #13) is NET September 12.

After those are probably ORBCOMM #2 (11 OG2 satellites) and Dragon CRS-5, both flights with lots of residual reserves for landing attempts.

2014-Jul-24, 02:13 PM
So it only broke when tipped over? That's great news. Reusable without any refurbishment would me an amazing step forward from throw-away or "might as well have built a new one" ;) Shuttle status quo.

All the best for the next trials! This is what we need for the future, the rocket has to become a tool, a vehicle, rather than just a means to get into space. You don't throw away tools or vehicles after one use. (unless future budgets are determined by past expenses, but let's not go there)

2014-Jul-26, 05:54 PM
Congrats to all involved.