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Watch SpaceX try a picture-perfect rocket landing at 7AM ET (updated)

It's a rare chance to get a good view of reusable rockets in action.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 29, 2017
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SpaceX, Flickr

Many SpaceX rocket landings have gotchas for viewers. Drone ship landings frequently mean shaky satellite video feeds, and nighttime launches just aren't very photogenic. You're about to have a much better look, however. SpaceX is launching a US spy satellite (NROL-76) on April 30th in circumstances that are about as good as you could hope for. The 7AM Eastern launch window opening is definitely early (especially if you're on the West coast), but it guarantees daylight at Cape Canaveral. And more importantly, there will be a ground landing -- you should get unfettered, high-quality video of the whole affair.

As Reddit user 007T points out, there's only been one other landing with this set of circumstances before: the CRS-10 mission from mid-February. We'd expect this sort of picture-perfect rocket landing to become relatively commonplace now that SpaceX has stepped up its launch schedule, but you may want to cherish the novelty while it lasts. If you're up shortly after sunrise, you can tune in below.

Update: SpaceX had to delay the launch until the morning of May 1st thanks to a "sensor issue." You'll still get picturesque launch conditions... you may just have to watch when you're getting ready for work.

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