Written by Staff Writer
SpaceX landed its first-ever drone ship landing in October, but the landing, on November 30, did not come without its share of drama.
But on Thursday, the space company provided viewers worldwide with stunning views of a view beyond the clouds.
After its recent series of remarkable and successful re-landing trips for its Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon spacecraft, SpaceX successfully landed its massive 830-foot-tall “ruddock.”
It’s called the Landing Zones Drone Ship and it was on its first ever mission, returning from the International Space Station.
In addition to reusing the Dragon spacecraft, SpaceX has also hinted that it could be the only company capable of delivering supplies to the ISS with any decent frequency, since other companies have had difficulties with on-orbit robot operations.
On Twitter and Instagram, SpaceX said the huge pile of machinery had been named Afterburner.
The device was built to help “us test and grow our reusable rocket and spacecraft industry,” it added.
The next step for the company is to put its previous first attempt on autopilot and hopefully land another one.
“Falcon 9 made the hard landing for the 1st time. Looks like we made it through the Dragon trip!” SpaceX tweeted.
Its next test will be SpaceX’s demo flight of the Falcon Heavy, which they aim to launch in March. A test flight of the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage used on the same mission — along with the Space Station’s Dragon spacecraft — will follow in July.
In December, SpaceX announced that the company’s Falcon Heavy would launch on February 6, around a month earlier than expected.