SpaceX Completes Successful Rocket
January 17, 2017
Private space exploration company
SpaceX has conducted its first successful launch since the explosion of
a rocket on the launchpad in September.
SpaceX sent the rocket into space Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force
Base, California, and landed the first-stage mechanism successfully on a
barge in the Pacific Ocean, an important step in development of reusable
The company hopes to reduce the cost of future space travel by
developing a dependable system of retrieving and reusing launch rockets
for future missions.
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 9:54 a.m. PST, carrying 10
communications satellites to be placed in orbit before returning to
Earth. The first-stage piece of the rocket landed on the ocean barge
about eight minutes after liftoff.
year, a Falcon 9 exploded on a Florida launchpad during a preflight
test. Investigators determined that a helium tank had burst inside a
liquid oxygen tank, triggering the explosion.
The rocket launched Saturday included modifications made in response to
that accident, including a redesigned helium canister. SpaceX also has
adjusted its fueling procedures to minimize danger.
SpaceX is a private company that is expected to begin transporting U.S.
astronauts into space next year. It also plans next year to launch a
spacecraft headed to Mars.
The company has a backlog of some 70 missions worth a total of $10
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