SpaceX video shows Falcon 9 reusable rocket in action


Reusable rockets are one step closer to becoming a reality for space travel. SpaceX recently tested its Falcon 9 rocket and released amazing footage detailing how well it actually works.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket meant to transport satellites into orbit, send manned missions into space, as well as deliver cargo shipments to the International Space Station. It's designed so that it works more efficiently than older rockets, making it capable to complete its mission even if its engine shuts down.

In 2012, a Falcon 9 rocket became the first commercial vehicle to visit the ISS, delivering goods via SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule. Since then, it has made three supply flights to the station, as part of its agreement with NASA.

SpaceX has upgraded their new Falcon 9 rockets and made them reusable, which could save space agencies billions of dollars and free up funds for more exploration. In a test done in July, the latest version of Falcon 9 delivered six small satellites into Earth's orbit. After that, it used its first rocket stage to re-enter Earth's atmosphere and then landed in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX recently released video of that landing taken from a plane chasing the Falcon 9's and it landed back on Earth.

Although the landing was not perfect (it landed in the ocean vertically instead of horizontally, causing it to topple over), SpaceX lauded the test as a success.

"This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able [to] consistently re-enter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near-zero velocity," states SpaceX.

The company states that the toppling issue is irrelevant because they designed the rocket to land on the ground, rather than in water. Most importantly, it can be re-launched without refurbishment, as many times as it's needed.

Elon Musk, SpaceX's owner and CEO, believes that the Falcon 9 will cut the cost of space exploration by a factor of 100. He hopes that this technology will aid in increasing the possibility of more manned missions, including those to Mars.

"I'm hopeful that the first people can be taken to Mars in 10-12 years," says Musk. "I think it's certainly possible for that to occur."

Of course, Musk is looking beyond visiting Mars, though, and hopes that humans will actually colonize the red planet shortly after that.

SpaceX has also recently negotiated an agreement with Texas to begin building the world's first spaceport.

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