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SpaceX makes history with 50th rocket landing

After launching another load of supplies to the ISS, SpaceX proved once again that the sky is no limit when they successfully landed their 50th rocket booster.

SpaceX continues to dominate innovation when it comes to space flight, successfully landing its 50th ever rocket this weekend.

Two years ago, SpaceX won a $1.6 billion USD contract with NASA to send supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), providing CEO and founder Elon Musk a prime PR opportunity to prove that his company is primed to become the cosmos’ first ever super-corporation.

The Flacon rocket, consisting of a booster and a capsule, blasted off Saturday evening in windy conditions, carrying 1950 kgs with of equipment and commercial experiments for the astronauts on the ISS. Whilst the capsule, otherwise known as The Dragon, would see out the full space mission, the booster, having performed its duty, made a dramatic midnight landing back at Cape Canaveral.

‘And the Falcon has landed for the 50th time in SpaceX history!’ SpaceX engineer Jessica Anderson announced amid cheers at Mission Control. ‘What an amazing live view all the way to touchdown.’

This is the 20th space station delivery for SpaceX, which has now ferried over 45,000 kgs worth of good to NASA’s orbiting station. Musk Tweeted that it was the windiest conditions they’d ever attempted a landing in, with winds of up to 50 kph.

SpaceX’s first ever booster landing was in 2015, uncovering a whole new world of resource and cost-efficient space travel. Before SpaceX, boosters were generally burned up in the atmosphere upon re-entry. Now, with the tech SpaceX are developing, ships can be used for multiple missions, making commercial space flight a far more attractive investment prospect for entrepreneurs. Both the weekend’s booster and The Dragon had been recycled from previous flights.

Among the science experiments companies paid SpaceX to take to the ISS are: an analysis of running shoe cushioning in weightlessness by Adidas, a water droplet study by Delta Faucet Co. for better showerhead water conservation, and 320 sprigs of grape vines by Space Cargo Unlimited, the Luxembourg start up that has already sent 12 bottles of red wine into space for high-altitude aging. It seems that the prospect of space flight is starting to inspire business owners here on Earth, and have a real impact on capital.

Saturday’s launch saw the last flight of SpaceX’s original Dragon cargo capsules. In the future, the company will launch supplies in Dragon2 ships – roomier and more elaborate versions of the Dragon built to house crews as well as supplies.

The aerospace giant hopes to launch NASA astronauts in these Dragon2 spacecraft by Spring 2020. The future of space travel, and space tourism, looks bright with Musk at the wheel.