This may begin to show what SpaceX is really made of. What can they do with a bit of a setback that is also public. Will they have to delay their next Falcon 9 launch? We do know their flight termination system works at their test site. It was a test and that’s what tests are for. Hopefully, not a bad omen for them with pending the Commercial Crew contract selection.
Credit Stephen Clark, Spaceflight Now, August 22, 2014
NCC1701Cadet: Continually ambitious, Space X has a plan. A plan with a long term goal, and a strategy to get there. Success, or even rate of success in human space flight remain to be seen. Landing their recoverable Falcon 9 first stage on a (pitching, rolling, heaving) floating barge after an upcoming launch as part of its continued testing is certainly a risk NASA would be unlikely to take. Even Elon expects success there to be unlikely. Ultimately, they will have to prove to the Eastern Test Range, and the FAA, that landing a powered booster stage back near the launch site to be safe to property and for the public. But they have come a long way for sure. It will surely take longer than they plan, but then, they do have a plan, and one that does not change simply at the whim of the politicians.
Article and photo credit: nasaspaceflight.com – Chris Bergin – July 28, 2014