Three in a row: SpaceX lands another booster in push for reusable rockets

SpaceX has pulled off another rocket landing, the third in just under two months. The first-stage booster of its unmanned Falcon rocket settled vertically onto a barge 400 miles off Florida’s east coast, eight minutes after lift-off. Cameras on the barge provided stunning, real-time video. “Falcon 9 has landed!” said a SpaceX flight commentator.

Rocket landing speed was close to design max & used up contingency crush core, hence back & forth motion. Prob ok, but some risk of tipping.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk is leading the race in building reusable rockets, which are normally allowed to crash land. The latest touchdown came after the rocket launched an Asian communications satellite. Mr Musk said via Twitter that the rocket’s landing speed was close to the design maximum. It followed successful booster landings in December, in April and again on May 6. The second recovered booster will be tested and should fly on another mission later this year.