Latest in Science

Image credit:

SpaceX will attempt another launch and sea landing today (updated)

Update: SpaceX successfully launched the rocket, but couldn't stick the landing.

Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

SpaceX has been trying to launch a Falcon 9 rocket tasked with carrying a communications satellite for over a week now. After a few scrubbed attempts, the company will give it another go this evening. Today's launch is planned for 6:35PM ET at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Similar to previous tries, SpaceX hopes to successfully deploy the SES-9 satellite before landing the rocket at sea. Thus far, the company hasn't been able to nail the landing after three attempts -- the last of which was foiled by a landing strut failure.

Elon Musk & Co. aren't optimistic about completing the maneuver this time either. In a press release about the launch, SpaceX noted "given this mission's unique GTO profile, a successful landing is not expected.​" However, it does mean that, success or failure, there's sure to be a livestream worth watching when the launch actually happens. Hopefully another boat won't venture into the safe area later today. You can follow along here when the time comes.

Update: The launch was successful! The live feed has ended without any update on the status of the landing (what we could see from the feed is in the GIF below), although the rocket has delivered its payload into orbit as planned. Once we have confirmation on the landing attempt, we will update this post, so stay tuned.

Update 2: Elon Musk tweeted that the "Rocket landed hard on the droneship," but says the next flight (scheduled in a couple of weeks) has a good chance of working out.

SES-9 launch

From around the web