Rocket SpaceX Falcon-9 test the folding support for a soft landing

The company SpaceX Elon Musk continues to develop the technology of reusable launch vehicles with a vertical landing, which will after the withdrawal of the payload into orbit yourself to sit down. Test a small (height "only" a ten-house) experimental rocket Grasshopper are successful - "Grasshopper" already demonstrated the ability to take off on height more than 700 meters and return exactly to the starting point. Now begins a new stage of the running technology. March 16 состоится launch a full-size rocket Falcon-9, which will be provided with supports ("legs"), similar to that used for a snug fit Grasshopper.

Four "legs" made of carbon and aluminum will be in the retracted position during launch. Falcon-9 fly like a regular rocket and splashed down in the ocean - until that SpaceX is not counting on the successful landing on land. However, during the splashdown will be tested folding mechanism supports. Furthermore, it is important that the landing stage by itself, in the unfolded position, supports must be possible to slow the rotation of the body. During the previous run when tested ability to re-start the engines of the first stage to slow the fall and a soft landing, the engines failed to restart once, and the second restart was unsuccessful, as the rocket began to rotate and centrifugal force prevented the fuel from entering the engine.

Full-scale testing systems for soft vertical landing rockets Falcon-9 conducted during regular commercial launches trucks Dragon, which deliver cargo to the ISS. Launching on March 16 will be the third of the twelve, that provides for SpaceX half billion contract with NASA.



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