Not only did SpaceX return to flight with a successful launch of ten Iridium satellites, they achieved a string of firsts. Saturday’s launch demonstrated the first barge landing off the west coast of the US. Cameras captured incredible footage the whole way down. Preparations for manned spaceflight, however, are still hampered with concerns raised by several NASA experts about risks associated with fuelling procedures. 2017 could be a big year for SpaceX to clear their launch backlog, to prove the Falcon 9 technology, to develop a satellite constellation for internet connectivity, and to make positive steps in fulfilling the commercial crew contract.
Image: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched during an instantaneous launch window on Saturday morning. By SpaceX
This story is taken from the 20 January 2017 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.