SpaceX Tests Reusable Rocket Strategy for ISS Launch

 

Update, Thursday Jan 8: SpaceX has pushed the launch to Saturday at 4:47am EST. Coverage will begin at 3:30am EST on the livestream provided above.

Update, Tuesday Jan 6: There was a hold during the terminal countdown and because there is an instantaneous window, the launch is pushed back to Friday Jan 9th - this time at 5:09am EST.  Launch coverage will begin at 4:00am EST on the livestream provided above.

Original, Monday Jan 5:

Photo credit: SpaceX

Photo credit: SpaceX

Tuesday morning at 6:20am EST, SpaceX will attempt to land their Falcon9 rocket's first stage on a floating barge; an incredibly difficult feat. They predict a 50% chance for success.  

SpaceX has already demonstrated two successful soft water landings (meaning: they landed in the water), but this is the first time they will attempt a precision landing on an unanchored platform!

Why try to land a rocket stage on a floating barge? Because they are usually tossed into the ocean.  Besides rocket stages polluting our oceans, it makes rocket launching that much more expensive.

This is the first step to a new, promising strategy: reusable rockets. A strategy that could drastically lower the cost of space exploration.

The launch is scheduled for 6:20am EST. The landing is estimated to occur between 6:29am and 6:30am pending no delays.

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