A new video shows that after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket touch down on the drone ship it exploded with a big bang shows new video.
The SpaceX CRS-6 mission launched on Tuesday at 4:10pm EDT from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The mission is a success so far as Dragon is en route to ISS, where it is accepted to arrive on Friday.
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Dragon is expected to return to Earth approximately five weeks later for a parachute - assisted splashdown off the coast of southern California. Dragon is the only operational spacecraft capable of returning a significant amount of supplies back to Earth, including experiments.
SpaceX also attempted again to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship. This is was again the most exciting moment of the mission and the video footage of the landing is dramatic. About 9 minutes after launch the first Stage of Falcon 9 hit the drone ship, but with too much velocity and it fell over as it was not landing straight. As seen in the photo above the approach looked very promising.
A Vine Video SpaceX released yesterday did not tell the full story of the Falcon 9 failed landing. After touching down it exploded in a big bang.
Elon Musk said from the beginning that there is only a 50:50 chance to be able to land the Falcon 9 on a ship to reuse it again and save cost. Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO told Defense News that SpaceX plans to have Falcon 9 landing on land and not on water.
"Just purely the boat moving, even in a low sea state, it's hard to imagine that vehicle is going to stay vertical," Shotwell said. "That vehicle is big and tall, compared to the itty-bity-greater-than-a-football-field-size ship."
It is obvious that return of Falcon 9 seems easier, but the risks of public damage are higher. The Falcon 9 has though a self-destruction mechanism. So when the rocket goes of course it can be vaporized in mid air. SpaceX did not reveal where the company plans to land the next Falcon 9.
Meanwhile Dragon gets closer to ISS and is expected to reach the International Space Station on Friday. The Dragon spacecraft will be filled with more than 4,300 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to support about 40 of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 43 and 44.
Science payloads being transported will investigate new ways to possibly counteract the microgravity - induced cell damage , including to the most common cells in bones, seen during spaceflight, gather new insight that could lead to treatments for osteoporosis and muscle wasting conditions, continue studies into astronaut vision changes and test a new material that could one day be used as a synthetic muscle for robotics explorers of the future. One science payload will support an investigation on the vision changes that more than half of American astronauts experience during and after long duration spaceflight.
It is hypothesized that the headward fluid shift that occurs during space flight leads to increased pressure in the brain, which may push on the back of the eye, causing it to change shape. The study will measure how much fluid shifts from the lower body to the upper body, in or out of cells and blood vessels, and determine the impact these shifts have on fluid pressure in the head, changes in vision and eye structures.
After five weeks at the space station, the spacecraft will return with over 3,000 pounds of cargo and packaging, including crew supplies, hardware and computer resources, science experiments, space station hardware and trash.
Today's SpaceX mission marks the half-way mark of the CRS contract with NASA. The 2009 started contract is for 12 missions to the ISS.
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The NASA television coverage of the SpaceX launch will begin Monday at 3:30 p.m.