Home Science Space SpaceX set to launch rocket with landing legs in March 2014
SpaceX's Grasshopper test rocket hovers over McGregor, Texas, on April 19, 2013. SpaceX's Grasshopper test rocket hovers over McGregor, Texas, on April 19, 2013. SpaceX

Subscribe now and get the news that matters to your industry.

* Your Email Address:
* First Name:
* Last Name:
Job Function:
Australian State:
Email marketing by Interspire
weebly statistics
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) is poised to test its new re-usable rocket, how with landing legs, on its next launch in March 2014, as it readies itself to send its next supply capsule Dragon to the International Space Station.
Grasshopper 250 m Test: Ring of Fire SpaceX
SpaceX will mount four landing legs -- about 60 feet (18.3 meters) across and made of a carbon fiber with aluminum honeycomb -- onto its Falcon 9 to test whether the rocket can make a controlled soft landing in the ocean after its first-stage fuel is spent.
The flight is now scheduled for March 16, 2014, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch time is now set for 4:41 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40). (corrected on 3/12/2014; p.m. to a.m.)
The company has been testing its hover legs on its Grasshopper rocket near McGregor, Texas. These tests, completed late in 2013, successfully showed that the hover legs could land a rocket from an altitude of 744 meters (0.46 miles).
Now, SpaceX is ready to try its new technology on an operational flight. However, SpaceX is not very confident that this first landing test will be successful.
Its spokesperson, Emily Shanklin, stated, “Given all the things that would have to go right, the probability of recovering the first stage is low ... but we’re getting closer.”
Thus, SpaceX will continue to land in the ocean until they can perfect the process. After that, they will attempt to land the rocket at the launch site, for quicker and less expensive turnaround on these re-usable boosters.
The success or failure of the landing apparatus will in no way affect the success of the mission, to send its Dragon (CRS-3) cargo resupply ship to the International Space Station.
the process goes like this: After the first-stage rocket has spent its fuel, it will separate from the Dragon spacecraft and begin its descent back to Earth, just like the solid rocket boosters (SBSs) did for the space shuttles.
However, SpaceX will restart the Falcon 9’s engines and extend its landing legs, which will be attached to its aft section.
If successful, the Falcon 9 first stage rocket will splash down into the Atlantic Ocean, as usual, but hopefully the entry into the water will be much slower than usual, and one that is much more controlled.


Don't let traffic bottlenecks slow your network or business-critical apps to a grinding halt. With SolarWinds Bandwidth Analyzer Pack (BAP) you can gain unified network availability, performance, bandwidth, and traffic monitoring together in a single pane of glass.

With SolarWinds BAP, you'll be able to:

• Detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance issues

• Track response time, availability, and uptime of routers, switches, and other SNMP-enabled devices

• Monitor and analyze network bandwidth performance and traffic patterns.

• Identify bandwidth hogs and see which applications are using the most bandwidth

• Graphically display performance metrics in real time via dynamic interactive maps

Download FREE 30 Day Trial!



Where are your clients backing up to right now?

Is your DR strategy as advanced as the rest of your service portfolio?

What areas of your business could be improved if you outsourced your backups to a trusted source?

Read the industry whitepaper and discover where to turn to for managed backup


William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University