SpaceX Is Attempting To Set New Rocket Launch And Landing Record This Weekend
“If something is important enough, you should try even if the probable outcome is failure.” — Elon Musk
This Sunday, February 8th, 2015, SpaceX will make its second try at a historic rocket landing on a floating platform in the ocean. The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket will lift off out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 6:10 ET. And within a half hour or so after takeoff, the rocket will return from space and attempt to guide its way, using GPS tracking onto an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic.
In this mission, the Falcon 9 rocket will deploy the refrigerator-sized satellite, which is designed to warn of solar storms that could disrupt navigation and communication technology on Earth, in space about 30 minutes after launch, sending DSCOVR on a high-speed trajectory to escape the bonds of Earth’s gravity. DSCOVR’s final station will be at the L1 libration point, a gravitationally-stable location a million miles from the day side of Earth.
However, there is also a less than 10 percent chance conditions could violate the Falcon 9 rocket’s weather constraints. “A high pressure area drops south into Florida on Saturday and Sunday, allowing for plenty of sunshine and temperatures near 70 degrees Fahrenheit along the Space Coast. There is very little threat of any launch weather rule violations. Maximum upper winds will be from the northwest at 40 knots/hour near 42,000 feet,” reported the forecasters. If so, then the launch will be delayed to Monday.
NASA will be streaming the launch live starting at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. The live stream is provided below:
This will be the first one in a total of 17 rockets that SpaceX plans to launch in 2015, including a mid-flight test abort of the Dragon capsule to demonstrate its in-flight crew escape system. Good luck Falcon 9!