SpaceX has recently reached a few firsts in the space industry. Last week, it successfully launched and then landed its falcon 9 rocket on a floating barge in an effort to significantly lower future launch costs. Being able to reuse large rockets is a game changer in this industry and the video footage is nothing short of spectacular. Here’s a link to the used rocket returning home for inspection, testing, cleaning and recertification. It’s easy to forget just how large these boosters are and just how difficult it is to land something that large and going that fast safely. The Dragon capsule launched to space as part of this same mission was also carrying some interesting cargo. In additional to supplies and other materials for experimentation, the Dragon also brought up an inflatable habitat module that can be attached to the international space station and tested for use and durability in space environments. If successful, inflatable sections of space stations may become the new norm as the reduced weight and collapsible material makes it extremely cost effective to launch into low earth orbit. SpaceX uses LO/MIT on its falcon rocketry and dragon capsule to address heat transfer issues.
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