What SpaceX and its founder Elon Musk accomplished Friday by landing a reusable rocket on a moving drone ship is no small feat. So you’ll want to watch this historic moment from every possible angle.
The crew did what it had failed to accomplish four times before by not only fulfilling its contract with NASA to transport 4,409 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station, but it also stuck the landing.
And what a landing it was. Hundreds of SpaceX employees gathered to watch the event outside the control room while millions more tuned in to the live stream from home or at work. The launch went smoothly, quickly propelling the rocket into space. But the real fanfare was all about the landing, which happens quickly as the rocket has to slow its momentum at the last seconds before touching down.
Falcon 9 was set to land on the floating drone ship called Of Course I Still Love You, but as the ship swayed from side to side on the choppier than expected waves, it looked as though Falcon 9 might not make it. But the landing legs and thrust were timed right to make a smooth landing for the first time.
NASA congratulated the SpaceX team on a successful resupply mission and landings.
Musk shared some crispy 4k video of the landing, which shows in greater detail how the drone ship was swaying and eliminates the moment of smoke blocking the view in the original live stream.
Looking closely, Falcon 9 even gives a little bounce on the landing before ultimately settling down.
Musk also shared some onboard footage of the landing which shows the landing gear deploying and the flaps maneuvering the rocket into position.
President Barack Obama even congratulated SpaceX on a successful mission and Elon Musk thanked him on behalf of the whole team.