posted at 06:50
Author Name: Jessica Orwig
Elon Musk Rockets That Land At Sea
SpaceX is about to start using these ocean-based landing pads to catch their Falcon9 rockets. Rockets used to deliver cargo and people into space would re-enter Earth's atmosphere, and either burn up or crash land in the ocean. The first successful "Soft landing" of a Falcon 9 rocket happened in April of this year, though the SpaceX team was unable to recover the rocket due to rough ocean conditions. Although the legs were not necessary for a water landing, it was important for SpaceX to make sure the legs would deploy for the next stage in rocket landing - on a floating, solid platform. The "X" in the image above marks the spot where the reusable SpaceX rockets will land. As the rocket nears the landing pad, the wings rotate clockwise and counterclockwise to steer the rocket toward its target for a successful landing. Mini-X-wings were deployed during a test flight on a rocket earlier this year at SpaceX's facility in McGregor, Texas, you can see how the rocket - after reaching a maximum height of about 0.6 miles above ground - deploys the fins in preparation for landing. SpaceX If the landings in December and January are successful, the landing pad will refuel the rockets at which point SpaceX will transport the rocket back to the mainland for another launch.

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