Falcon 9-R

The first demonstration launch of the new version of the Falcon 9, referred to as either the Falcon 9 v.1.1 or the Falcon 9-R launched successfully from Vandenberg AFB on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 9:00 AM PDT. A report from the BBC states:

Retractable versions will now be incorporated on to the Falcon 9 that launches the company’s next Nasa cargo mission to the space station from Florida at the beginning of 2014. And again, once the first-stage has completed its primary tasks on that flight, it will be commanded to reignite its engines and to make a controlled return to Earth. But it won’t drop into the ocean. This time, the boost stage will try to touch down on a piece of ground at Cape Canaveral not far from the launch pad. SpaceX is currently working through the technicalities with range officials at the Cape, and with the Federal Aviation Authority. An FAA licence will be needed before such a landing is permitted.

This particular launch lacked the landing struts seen in the graphic below taken from SpaceX’s website: www.spacex.com/falcon9

facon9-r
Image and information taken from SpaceX.

Here is a video of what SpaceX intends to do and is making progress on:

Current testing with the Grasshopper test vehicle has gone well:

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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