Space X makes a Third Attempt to Land Falcon 9 Rocket on Drone Ship
SpaceX is again ready with its Falcon 9 Rocket, in its third attempt to return and land the rocket on a barge-like boat in the Atlantic Ocean. The previous two attempts to land the rocket on water have been unsuccessful.
The Falcon 9 Rocket's last landing was very close to being called a success. The booster actually touched down on the drone ship within 10 meters of the target, but since it was moving sideways too fast, it could not settle on the ship. This third foray by the company is an effort to return a launch vehicle for reuse.
The rocket, which is expected to take off for the International Space Station on Sunday morning, would be loaded with 4,000 pounds of supplies and scientific equipment for ISS crewmembers. It would include equipments required to take high-resolution video of near-Earth meteors. These materials would help the astronauts to carry out experiments on behalf of NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the European Space Agency.
The rocket would be launched on Sunday morning if the weather is favorable. The live coverage would begin at 9 AM CDT, while the launch is targeted for 9:21 AM from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It will be the company's seventh of the 12 specified cargo missions to the station.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said, "If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred. A fully reusable vehicle has never been done before".