SpaceX hopes the third time’s the charm for their Falcon 9 rocket landing.
SpaceX is set to return to flight with the launch of its ORBCOMM-2 mission and is hoping to successfully land the company’s Falcon 9 first stage in a test of rocket reusability. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying 11 satellites for ORBCOMM, is scheduled to lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Monday, Dec. 21 at 8:29 p.m. EST.
This will be SpaceX’s first return to flight since June when the company’s Falcon 9 rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station exploded just minutes after launch. It will also mark the first time SpaceX has attempted to land a Falcon 9 first stage rocket on land.
Earlier this year, SpaceX twice attempted to land their Falcon 9 rockets on floating ocean barges at sea. Each time the rocket reached its destination, but suffered hard landings. A third attempt never occurred due to a launch failure. In the time since, Blue Origin has surpassed SpaceX to become the first to send a rocket into space and successfully land it back on the launch pad.
SpaceX will be providing a live stream of their ORBCOMM-2 launch starting at 8:05 p.m. EST on Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. The launch window opens up for five minutes starting at 8:29 p.m. EST. The rocket’s first stage landing should occur approximately 10 minutes after launch.
Update: Falcon 9 first stage landing has been confirmed and all satellites have been deployed.
Editor’s Note: This story will be updated as new information becomes available.