SpaceX hopes the third time will be the charm for their daring rocket landing at sea.
SpaceX is making its third attempt to land and recover the first stage of a rocket for reuse as a part of the company’s seventh cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carrying its Dragon spacecraft will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday, June 28 at 10:21 a.m. EDT.
SpaceX will attempt to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating ocean barge known as the autonomous spaceport drone ship following the delivery of its Dragon spacecraft into orbit. The Dragon spacecraft is carrying more than 4,000 pounds of food, supplies and science equipment to the International Space Station.
While landing a rocket at sea is not an original concept, SpaceX became the first in history to attempt such a feat earlier this year. However, due to the depletion of the rocket’s hydraulic fluid it suffered a hard landing. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket again reached the drone ship during a second attempt in April, but the rocket tipped over shortly after touching down due to a valve issue. Both issues have been resolved ahead of Sunday’s landing attempt.
If the test is successful, SpaceX will recover the rocket and attempt to fly it again at a later date in a test of rocket reusability. SpaceX was founded with the aim of drastically cutting the cost of space exploration through the development of fully and rapidly reusable rockets and spacecrafts.
NASA and SpaceX will be providing live coverage of the company’s seventh cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Lift off is scheduled for 10:21 a.m. EDT on Sunday, June 28. NASA television coverage begins at 9 a.m. EDT and SpaceX’s live coverage starts at 10 a.m. EDT.