Remember when SpaceX landed a reusable rocket last month? It happened sometime between your billionth conversation about how crazy this El Niño weather is and that moment when your soul expired on the floor of a Walgreens holiday aisle.
Either way, it was a big deal. No one had ever done that before, at least not from orbit. And since rockets are huge things that cost lots of money, it would be great if we could start landing and reusing them, instead of just scrapping them after each mission — all those metals and plastics that go into rockets are, after all, finite resources. And so is the space around our planet, which is rapidly filling up with old rockets and other space junk.
Fortunately, this historic moment will now live forever in the annals of sustainable space exploration, thanks to this snazzy recap video from SpaceX. The whole thing is full of slow pans over mission control, close-ups of anxious engineers, footage from rocket-mounted cameras, and intense, we’re-about-to-make-history background music, but hey — whoever said that jocks were the only ones who deserved highlight reels?
Now, these wannabe Martians are gearing up for another landing attempt this Sunday, according to Space.com. They’ll be sending up their Falcon 9 to drop off an Earth-observation satellite, and will then try to land the rocket back down on Earth — except this time, on a ship in the Pacific ocean. The team has tried two ship landings before, but both times, the rocket came down too hard and exploded, Space.com reports.
So here’s hoping third time’s the charm. And if they stick this landing, then I, for one, know what I’ll be listening to when I celebrate this next step toward a sustainable space industry: