SpaceX plans launch and rocket landing from California barge
SpaceX is planning a launch and rocket landing from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Sunday just before 11 a.m. local time.
SpaceX is using the launch to again try to land a Falcon 9 first stage on an oceangoing barge. The launch window opens at 10:42 a.m. PT.
Two previous attempts to land a rocket on a barge in the Atlantic failed, but last month SpaceX succeeded in returning a rocket to a vertical landing at Cape Canaveral, Florida, after putting a cluster of satellites into orbit.
Billionaire Elon Musk’s company hopes to reduce launch costs by reusing rockets rather than having them fall into the ocean.
If successful, the Falcon 9 will deliver the Jason-3 satellite to low-Earth orbit for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The satellite is the latest in a series designed to detect and measure ocean phenomena like El Nino.
There is a back-up launch opportunity on Monday at 10:31am PT.