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SpaceX declares success in reusability test
Posted: Sat, Apr 26, 2014, 11:55 AM ET (1555 GMT)
An attempt to soft-land the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket in the ocean last week was a success, the company's CEO said Friday, despite not being able to recover the stage due to weather. In a presentation Friday, Elon Musk said telemetry returned from the first stage of the Falcon 9 after launch on April 18 indicated the stage "landed" on the ocean surface vertically, with all its landing legs deployed; the stage remained upright until telemetry was lost eight seconds later. Heavy seas at the landing area in the Atlantic Ocean prevents recovery ships from being able to reach the stage, and SpaceX believes the stage was subsequently broken apart by the heavy waves. Musk said they will attempt another landing test over the ocean on the next Falcon 9 launch, of several ORBCOMM satellites next month, and hope to be able to bring a stage back to land by the end of the year.
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