SpaceX Lands Rocket Successfully
SpaceX, a private American aerospace company, has successfully landed a rocket on the landing pad at Cape Canaveral , Florida. The Falcon 9 rocket landed in an upright position after three previous attempts had failed .
The company, headed by Elon Musk, brought 11 small satellites into space. 10 minutes after launch the engines of the first stage of the rocket turned it around and guided it successfully back to the landing pad. Months earlier, the company tried to land a rocket on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean, but failed.
The successful landing of the Falcon 9 rocket was not the first such feat. Blue Origin, headed by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, also landed a rocket successfully, however the SpaceX landing was a much more complicated. The rocket was bigger and flew higher up into space.
The SpaceX rocket landing is a big step forward for future space missions. Up to now the first stages of a rocket fell back to earth and couldn't be used again. Reusable rockets that can bring people into orbit or to a space station would strongly reduce the cost of space missions. It would also allow spacecraft to be launched more often. A single Falcon 9 rocket costs about 70 million dollars, while fuel per launch only costs about 200,000 dollars.
SpaceX plans to make several launches every year. Currently, it brings commercial satellites into orbit and later on will bring American astronauts to the International Space Station.
Blue Origin and SpaceX are competing for the leading role in private space exploration. While Amazon boss Bezos wants to provide cheaper travel for space tourists and businesses, Elon Musk's dream is a manned mission to Mars, which he says can be achieved within the next decade.
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- achieve = do something successfully
- aerospace = the building and designing of airplanes and rockets for space travel
- attempt = try
- business = company
- commercial = here: private, not for the government
- compete = to be more successful than someone else
- complicated = difficult
- currently = at the moment
- decade = ten years
- engine = part of a rocket that produces power to make it move
- exploration = travelling to a place in order to find out more about it
- feat = a very special job , which is difficult to do
- fail = not work correctly
- fuel = something that you can burn in order to make a motor or engine work
- guide = lead, show the way
- head = to be the boss of ...
- however = but
- landing pad = place where a rocket or airplane lands
- launch = start
- manned mission = trip to space with people on board
- mission = trip to a place in space
- orbit = to go around the earth, moon or other objects in space
- previous = earlier
- provide = offer
- reduce = lower, make less
- reusable = to use something again
- satellite = machine that you can send to space; it goes around the earth, moon or another planet and can be used for communication, radio and TV
- several = a few
- spacecraft = object that can travel to space
- stage = part
- strongly = very much
- successfully = when something works the way it should
- upright = straight up, in a vertical position