Watch Live: SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Rocket, Attempts Another Landing on a Barge

Monday, 13 April 2015 - 10:30AM
NASA
SpaceX
Monday, 13 April 2015 - 10:30AM
Watch Live: SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Rocket, Attempts Another Landing on a Barge
Today at 4:33 pm ET, SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 rocket with two goals in mind: first, to send two tons of supplies to the ISS inside their Dragon capsule, and second, to successfully land a rocket booster on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean. The former is relatively routine, and is expected to go off without a hitch. But the latter goal is a little more ambitious, especially considering that their last attempt was a particularly explosive failure.

Update:
Today's launch was aborted due to inclement weather conditions. 

Watch the live feed from NASA Public here:


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

In January, SpaceX made a similar attempt to land a rocket booster on a barge, only to have the rocket spectacularly explode upon landing. But although it certainly looked like an utter failure, it was actually a partial success, as the rocket managed to hit the target at the correct angle. The only flaw in the landing's execution was the amount of force with which the rocket hit the barge, but SpaceX believes that they have rectified this error for today's launch. Last time, the rocket hit the target too hard because its fins started to run out of hydraulic fluid in the air, but the rocket for today's launch is equipped with much more hydraulic fluid, hopefully anticipating that problem.



If the landing is successful, it could have enormous implications for future space travel, as it effectively means that we have reusable rockets at our disposal. This will greatly reduce the costs and risks associated with rocket launches, and will change the landscape of the space travel industry to the point that SpaceX calls it "the key to making human life multi-planetary."

There is a chance that the launch will not occur this afternoon; weather conditions are unclear, with NASA citing a 60% chance that they will be favorable, so when the time comes the mission may be delayed. If that happens, there will be another attempt tomorrow, April 14, at 4:10 pm ET.
Science
Space
NASA
SpaceX

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