SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Nails Its Barge Landing – TTG

In a dramatic feat of engineering prowess, the private spaceflight company SpaceX successfully landed a reusable Falcon 9 rocket booster today — the second such landing for the company, and the first successful touchdown on a ship.

The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at 4:43 p.m. EDT (2043 GMT) today (April 8) from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It carried SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo spacecraft, which is now on its way to the International Space Station, carrying crew supplies, station hardware and science experiments. SpaceX streamed live video of the historic rocket landing during the launch, a feat that capped a smooth cargo launch for NASA 

After separating from Dragon a few minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9's first stage performed several flyback engine burns, then eventually lowered itself vertically onto a SpaceX drone ship that was stationed off the Florida coast. (


On its fifth attempt, a Falcon 9 rocket finally makes a successful sea landing. This stuff excites me, even though this isn't the first booster landing. It’s how the rockets in the sci-fi movies always landed. It’s how I always landed my model rockets when I played with then as a child and dreamed of going into space. I have to smile at the name of the landing barge – “Of Course I Still Love You.” It says something about the crew that put this together. I like that attitude. It reminds me of the NASA Pirate Code written by John Muratore, a NASA engineer back in the day. I put it on the wall in the commercially covered office of my last detachment. Words to live by.

The Pirate Code

Pirates have to know what they’re doing.

If we fail, there is no mercy.

You’re operating outside the normal support structure of society. It’s all about knowing all the details.

You hit hard and fast. Pirates don’t spend months wandering around.

Pirates live on the edge or just in front of the wave that is about to catch them.

Piracy is about taking risks. Occasionally we’re going to fail and you’ll get some holes blown in you.

Pirates don’t have resources to waste. You’re always operating on a thin margin, not in fat city.

We’re all banded together.


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13 Responses to SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Nails Its Barge Landing – TTG

  1. Richard says:

    The style of the barge name is directly from Iain Bank’s Culture Novels, which are outstanding SF. Obviously the folks at SpaceX enjoyed them too.
    It’s well past time that low earth orbit becomes the playground of private companies like SpaceX. NASA needs to focus on exploration.

  2. ked says:

    Musk the Pirate is having a good week.

  3. Farooq says:

    Really nice clips
    This Falcon 9 delivered bigelow expandable activity module which is pretty exciting stuff to watch for in future

  4. hans says:

    $500 a pound (or less) into orbit, and at a margin of 70%… Musk OWNS space transport

  5. Tigermoth says:

    Being an “old bullet” myself, I also remember Black and White Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon space ships. Lots of the imaginary things of my youth are now reality! Take Dick Tracy’s wrist watch coms link!

  6. Lars says:

    The pirates also had a good management system: The Captain was only in charge when in combat. The rest of the time, the Quartermaster was.
    Especially churches could benefit from that method. I learned that from remodeling a few.

  7. charly says:

    I already see the Chinese, Russians, Europeans etc., etc. use Musk to launch their military sats.
    In reality Europe owns space transport because of location and will keep owning space transport* because of location. What will happen is that they earn less money for it because they also will reuse their first stage just like Musk and Bezos.
    *) until Brazil gets its rockets working

  8. Bill Herschel says:

    The Russian Proton-M with 96 successful launches carries nearly twice the payload of the Falcon, and the Russian say they will continue to be able to compete on the basis of cost. A blatant provocation. Carter should look into this.

  9. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The “Flying Horse”, the “Submersible Iron Fish”, the “Voice Activated Sentry” were all mentioned in a One Thousand and One Nights.
    I wonder if Aladin’s lamp was not the remote control unit of a very powerful and dexterous robot.

  10. Amir says:

    Landing a rocket on a barge is as complex as landing the lander on the moon. The algorithms are known since the 60s and obviously need to be adjusted for each vehicle. The reason this approach is not used, is because a huge amount of fuel is expended and that fuel adds to the “dead weight” that needs to be sent up. To date, it is cheaper to make the first stage as opposed to re-use it and on top of it waste the fuel getting it back. (An engineer from Orbital said)

  11. Bobo says:

    Having had a very small part in the first three failures I can own only say WOW hats off to Mr. Musk and his team of believers. What I found most impressive (being an old codger) was the enthusiam, dedication and esprit de corps of his young team in attempting to achieve something us old Mariners never thought could be done. It warms my heart that these young people will grow into our leaders of tomorrow as now I know there is HOPE. Well done sir.

  12. alba etie says:

    Yes and his orders for affordable sedans are rolling in too .

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