SpaceX landed their rocket on a floating barge in the Pacific Ocean and returned it safely to the Port of Los Angeles. The Falcon 9 had put 10 satellites into Earth orbit Saturday after it launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Los Angeles, California.
The rocket booster that SpaceX successfully launched and recovered over the weekend in the Pacific Ocean arrived home in San Pedro at daybreak Tuesday.
Dusted from head to toe with soot from its celestial trip, the nearly 160-foot-tall first-stage Falcon 9 spacecraft was parked on its landing barge across from Cabrillo Marina. A crane waited to move it off of the oceanic landing platform.
It’s the first SpaceX booster to be docked in San Pedro, but the company has parked its Dragon cargo-hold spacecraft previously along the Los Angeles waterfront. – The Daily Breeze
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The ability to recover rockets is key to the SpaceX goal of making space flight affordable, frequent and routine. The company completed its first successful vertical recovery of a rocket in December 2015.
SpaceX wants to become the first private rocket builder to transport astronauts to space. They have an agreement with NASA to begin delivering crewmembers to the International Space Station in 2018.
Featured Image of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster makes it’s way into the port of Los Angeles Tuesday morning January 17, 2017 by Chuck Bennett/Daily Breeze/SCNG