Kyle Johnson
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Falcon 9 Footage is Going to Blow Your Mind

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Seriously, I know it reads like an Upworthy headline, but if this doesn't make you well up with pride even a little, then you are dead inside.

Falcon 9

A picture is worth 1,000 words. A video of a rocket taking off, hovering, and landing is worth two: holy crap.

Last Friday, Elon Musk announced that: (1) he planned to sue the federal government to break up the ULA’s monopoly on GPS and spy satellite launches (2) SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster rocket landed safely in the Atlantic Ocean before being crushed by wave activity.

The contention from many regarding awarding Elon Musk’s SpaceX with a federal contract for satellite launches is that they have not demonstrated that their practices are safe and effective. This afternoon, Musk uploaded a video on his Twitter page of the second flight of the Flacon 9 Reusable (F9R) two-stage rocket. The result:

Yeah. Your move, America.

The Falcon 9 Reusable successfully flew to an altitude of about 1,000 meters, hovered in place, and landed effortlessly. Watch this video three times, and then a fourth time just for the hell of it. It’s like one of this ridiculous Upworthy headlines, except this might actually change your life (or, inevitably, the course of human events).

Falcon 9

This Falcon 9 two-stage rocket seemed like a pretty normal rocket. What happened next made me want to get a STEM education.

In other news relative to the SpaceX lawsuit, a U.S. federal court has filed an injunction against the ULA that prevents it from purchasing engines for their rockets from Russia. In his press conference last week, Musk questioned the ethics and practicality of purchasing engines from Russian engineers in the current political climate, and the court seemed to agree.

“ULA is deeply concerned with this ruling and we will work closely with the Department of Justice to resolve the injunction expeditiously,” said ULA general counselman Kevin MacCary.

“SpaceX’s attempt to disrupt a national security launch contract so long after the award ignores the potential implications to our national security and our nation’s ability to put Americans on board the International Space Station,” he said. Because when something doesn’t go your way, try to convince people that it puts them at risk.

Falcon 9

Translation: Yeah, they might have our number on this one, fellas.

We’ll have more on the latest developments from Falcon 9 testing and SpaceX’s lawsuit as news develops.