Weather Looks Good for Bold SpaceX Launch on Saturday: Watch Live

January 1, 2017 – 04:22 pm
SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are seen in the horizontal position ahead of a planned Jan. 10, 2015 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are seen in the horizontal position ahead of a planned Jan. 10, 2015 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Credit: SpaceX

Mother Nature appears to be cooperating for the planned launch Saturday (Jan. 10) of SpaceX's next robotic cargo mission to the International Space Station, a liftoff that will also include a potentially epic demonstration of reusable rocket technology.

Weather forecasters are predicting an 80 percent chance of good conditions Saturday morning at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch the company's unmanned Dragon capsule from the Cape at 4:47 a.m. EST (0947 GMT) Saturday; you can watch the SpaceX launch live on Space.com beginning at 3:30 a.m. EST (0830 GMT), courtesy of NASA TV.

Getting Dragon aloft is the main goal Saturday, but a secondary objective has captured a good deal more attention. SpaceX aims to bring the Falcon 9's first stage back to Earth for a precision landing on an "autonomous spaceport drone ship" in the Atlantic Ocean. [Inside SpaceX's Epic Fly-Back Reusable Rocket Landing (Infographic)]

Musk gave the rocket-landing attempt just a 50 percent chance of success. But he has also stressed that, whatever the outcome Saturday, the company will keep working until it's able to set a rocket down softly on land and then refly it.

Dragon is packed with more than 5, 000 lbs. (2, 270 kilograms) of food, spare parts and scientific hardware on this cargo mission, the fifth of 12 that SpaceX plans to fly to the orbiting lab for NASA under a $1.6 billion contract.

Quiz: How Well Do You Know SpaceX's Dragon Spaceship?

The spaceflight company SpaceX is one of several firms building private space taxis and cargo ships to launch astronauts and supplies into space. But there's more to SpaceX than meets the eye. Test your SpaceX know-how here.


Source: www.space.com

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