SpaceX booster comes full circle after landing

Image: SpaceX Falcon
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 first-stage booster makes its way back to the company’s processing facility in Florida after its recovery at sea. (Credit: via YouTube)

Eleven days after a thrilling landing at sea, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket booster is coming back to the company’s space-age garage in Florida, in preparation for engine tests and potentially the first-ever reuse of its rocket hardware.

The Falcon blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and lofted a Dragon cargo capsule toward the International Space Station on April 8. Minutes after launch, the first-stage booster made an unprecedented touchdown onto an autonomous spaceport drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

It took a few days for the ship to come back to Florida’s Port Canaveral in Florida. Then the booster was packed up for a slow, careful trip back to SpaceX’s launch processing facility at Kennedy Space Center. Visitors happened to catch video of the Falcon passing by today.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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