Another successful launch today, historic in that it’s the first reuse of the vehicle for a NASA payload, and the 20th successful landing. It also indicates that LC-40 is back in business after the explosion last year, and it’s the 17th launch of the year for them, a new record. There will probably be one more this year, the Iridium Next flight out of Vandenberg in a few days. And yesterday, they opened up applications for media credential for the Falcon Heavy launch out of LC-39A, next month.

[Update a few minutes later]

As for Blue Origin, get a dummy’s-eye view of this week’s flight of Mannequin Skywalker.

10 thoughts on “SpaceX”

    1. Many of those landings were high energy ones that left the stage damaged and I suspect not safely reusable. But that’s ok; the main purpose of these landings has been to get experience for the design of the more robust Block 5 first stage.

      1. I also assumed that they experimented with different landing profiles to find out what they could get away with. I’m sure they want to use the minimum amount of fuel possible for landings.

  1. Maybe I’m just a worry-wart, but SpaceX launches still have me on the edge of my seat. I’m glad LC-40 is back in business (and apparently upgraded). They really do make the landings look routine now.

    The coolest thing for me about today’s launch was the rocketcam on the first stage showing the contrail still visible from a few minutes earlier. I hope there are ground-based photos or video showing the contrail and descending stage together.

    1. Yeah, some choice camera view this launch. I don’t recall seeing stage separation and the boost back burn in such detail before. Great stuff!

      1. Oh yeah! Usually the MECO, stage separation, 2nd stage ignition and boostback burn ignition are shown from rocket cams on the 1st and 2nd stages. This time, we had a daylight launch with extremely clear skies and we got to watch the whole dance, in context, captured by a ground-based tracking camera. I think this is only the second time that’s happened. The lack of clouds also permitted us that spectacular view – from above – of the ascent contrail as the 1st stage descended. Add in Katie Tice being back before the cameras in Hawthorne and this webcast sets a new watchability bar for SpaceX.

  2. Many people suspected that Bezos was a Sith lord but this confirms it.

    The landing hardly moved Mannequin Skywalker, looked very gentle.

  3. I read on that Jessica Jensen pointed out that 2017 began with SpaceX’s first launch from LC-39A and ended with the first launch from the refurbished LC-40.

    1. To clarify, she mentioned the end of the year “for SpaceX east coast launches”. They are still on track for the Iridium Next 4 launch out of Vandenburg next Friday, at 1732 local, about half an hour past sunset.

  4. Iridium Next 4 sure woke up SoCal with a spectacular vapor trail…

    I would expect it to become standard practices for Sherrif’s dept’s downrange to get the equivalent of NOTAMs for nervous callers?

    Elon’s tweet notwithstanding – I would’ve prefer the tweet “Merry IFO SoCal!”

Comments are closed.