Elon Musk is holding a live press conference on SpaceX in Washington D.C. right now. NBC News has the live webcast, which is embedded above.
Musk confirmed in the conference that they were able to do a soft-landing of the Falcon 9 stage, which successfully launched the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station last week.
The seas were heavy so they suspect the stage was destroyed. “The recovery operations were challenging,” Musk told reporters on Friday, April 25. They were, however, able to find pieces that join the first and second stage.
Last week was the first time the private space transport company launched the Falcon 9’s first stage equipped with four “landing legs,” as part of a test to see if the rocket can be recovered and reused. The landing legs would eventually be used to land the rocket on the ground, but the first test was done over water.
The first stage managed to make it back to Earth without burning up, and splashed down into the ocean. The last update on the first stage landing from the SpaceX website reads: “Data upload from tracking plane shows first stage landing in Atlantic was good! Flight computers continued transmitting for 8 seconds after reaching the water. Stopped when booster went horizontal. Several boats enroute through heavy seas …”
Here’s the launch again, from the NASA Kennedy YouTube:
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