Video: SpaceX Falcon 9 First-Stage Precision Landing

Footage shows three views of spacecraft’s landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic.

SpaceX Stage One Rocket Landing
The first-stage section of the Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on a barge in the Atlantic last week. The impressive video footage below shows the accuracy of the landing.Facebook/SpaceX

Here is your chance to take a closer look at the Falcon 9 first-stage landing on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean last week. This video shows the impressive touchdown of the first-stage section of the rocket from three different angles, highlighting the accuracy of the spacecraft.

Falcon 9’s mission was to fly to space to deliver the JCSAT-14 communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit. The first stage section, with nine Merlin-1D engines putting out 1.7 million pounds of thrust at sea level, powered Falcon 9 for about 2 minutes and 40 seconds before separating and beginning its descent. The remainder of the spacecraft continued into space and the JCSAT-14 satellite was released into orbit about 32 minutes after liftoff.

The first stage descended to an Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS), a barge named Of Course I Still Love You that is capable of holding its targeted position within 3 meters, even in a storm. There are no people onboard the ASDS during landing attempts. The drone ship has SpaceX's logo in the center as the target for the landing. For the JCSAT-14 launch, the ASDS was parked in the Atlantic Ocean and three of the nine engines were ignited for the touchdown.

With only a handful of successful first-stage recoveries to date, SpaceX called the landing attempt “experimental.” Prior to the JCSAT-14 launch, SpaceX had deemed the success of this stage one landing “unlikely.”