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Watch SpaceX try its second ground landing (update: success!)

Its cargo mission to the International Space Station will also serve as a valuable rocket test.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 17, 2016
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SpaceX, Flickr

Now that sea-based rocket landings are relatively commonplace for SpaceX, the company is hoping to achieve repeat success with ground landings. Elon Musk and crew are launching a Dragon capsule full of cargo to the International Space Station on July 18th at 12:45AM Eastern, and they're using this nighttime mission to attempt the second-ever ground landing of a Falcon 9 rocket. You can watch SpaceX's live stream below starting at 12:25AM.

There's a lot riding on this besides bragging rights. The mission is carrying an international docking adapter that the ISS would have received last year if not for a Falcon 9 breaking up on launch. As you might gather, SpaceX really can't afford to lose that part a second time -- it'd not only hurt the ISS' supplies, but cast doubt on its attempts to improve reliability.

Update: Following a successful launch, the critical docking port part is now on its way to the ISS. To ice that cake, SpaceX also landed its first-stage Falcon rocket just a few miles from where it launched at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, marking its second successful ground-based landing. Hopefully we'll get footage of that soon, because we're still not tired of those landings at all.

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