I’ve posted before about attempts by the company Space X to land a booster rocket in an upright position on a barge in the ocean. Pretty much since the dawn of space travel, booster rockets that launch astronauts and other payloads into space have simply been jettisoned during the early stages of the mission and have either burned up in the atmosphere or dropped into the ocean. Pundits have compared that to putting a new engine in your car after every time you go for a drive.
What Space X aims to do is recover the rocket intact, which would permit it to be reused — drastically reducing the potential cost of a space mission. After several near misses, Space X succeeded yesterday in landing one of its Falcon 9 rockets in an upright position on the barge.
While such landings are still a long way from being routine, it very definitely was a major step forward for Space X and its visionary founder/Internet billionaire Elon Musk. And if you don’t know already, here’s a bit of local trivia. While Musk himself was born in South Africa, his mother Maye was born in Regina.
So congrats to Musk and his Space X colleagues on their accomplishment.