SpaceX to Try Daring Rocket Landing on Ocean Platform Tuesday: Watch It Live

December 5, 2016 – 02:44 pm
SpaceX's "autonomous spaceport drone ship" measures 300 by 170 feet (91 by 52 meters) with its "wings" extended.
Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX will attempt one of the boldest maneuvers in the history of rocketry early Tuesday morning (Jan. 6) during a supply mission to the International Space Station for NASA, and you can watch the effort live online.

The California-based private spaceflight company will try to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean, shortly after the booster launches SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo capsule from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 6:20 a.m. EST (1120 GMT) Tuesday. NASA officials have said there is a 60 percent chance of good launch weather for the planned launch. You can watch the SpaceX launch live on, courtesy of NASA TV, beginning at 5 a.m. EST (1000 GMT).

"The odds of success are not great — perhaps 50 percent at best, " SpaceX representatives wrote of the platform landing in a mission update last month. "However, this test represents the first in a series of similar tests that will ultimately deliver a fully reusable Falcon 9 first stage." SpaceX will offer its own launch webcast on the company's website beginning at 6 a.m. EST (1100 GMT). [Reusable Rocket Launch Systems: How They Work (Infographic)]

Developing a fully and rapidly reusable rocket is a key priority for SpaceX and its billionaire founder, Elon Musk, who has said that such technology could cut the cost of spaceflight by a factor of 100.


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