SpaceX rocket not meant to survive somehow manages to anyway

SpaceX Gov Sat-1 launch

To the surprise of even Musk himself, the rocket survived its water landing and was pictured bobbing in the sea.

On Wednesday, the Falcon 9 rocket lifted off just in time at 4:25 p.m.

The GovSat 1 launch means the company can focus now on SpaceX's next mission: the maiden test voyage of its highly anticipated Falcon Heavy rocket.

The LuxGovSat a public-private joint venture between the Luxembourg government and Luxembourg-based telecommunications company SES, in part to fulfill that nation's growing defense obligations to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The mission marked the third time SpaceX used a flight-proven Falcon 9 to orbit a satellite for SES. But as SpaceX vaguely said before the mission, it would "not attempt to recover Falcon 9's first stage after launch".

Musk's SpaceX tweeted on Tuesday that it would "stand down" from launching the Falcon 9 rocket as it worked to replace a faulty second stage sensor. "Space X has landed about 20 first stages at this point", he said during the broadcast.

There is, meanwhile, another player in the game: the California-based firm Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, founded in 2002 by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk with the ultimate goal of providing lower-cost access to space via the development of fully reusable launch vehicles. However, the supercharged landing, such as this, could have damaged the drone boats.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk posted photos of both of the rockets standing on their launch pads prior to either launch. It could be less costly and challenging to recover boosters this way than via controlled descent, after all - provided they can consistently come back in decent shape. Calculations by amateur enthusiasts on Reddit suggest that the Falcon 9 booster underwent approximately 10gs of force compared to the normal 3gs, in the seconds before landing. However, by using three engines, it is entirely possible that SpaceX hopes to eventually move towards even more aggressive landing burns. It is also equipped with anti-jamming features, encrypted telemetry and control.

Crazily, the rocket appeared to survive the "landing", and SpaceX will tow it back to shore for inspections. However, it's still not certain whether the rocket will be used or any of its remains will be used in the future.

Reusable rockets would cut costs and waste in the space industry, which now loses millions of dollars in jettisoned machinery after each launch.

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