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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: USLaunchReport.com 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.

See the videos on GeekWire.

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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