SpaceX Launch Aims For Successful Rocket Landing At Cape, Launch Now Set Monday At 8:33 p.m. ET

By  //  December 21, 2015

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Check out SpaceX's rendering of what Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center will look like with a Crew Dragon prepared to launch our astronauts to the International Space Station. (SpaceX image)

Assuming SpaceX’s plans come to fruition, a Falcon 9 flight from Cape Canaveral on Sunday will end with a vertical rocket-assisted landing at an abandoned Cold War-era launch facility a few miles away. (SpaceX image)

UPDATE: SpaceX has rescheduled the Falcon 9 launch for Monday at 8:33 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The company just announced it has pushed back its planned launch of a Falcon 9 rocket with 11 Orbcomm Inc. communications satellites to 8:33 p.m. Monday.

There’s an 80 percent chance of favorable weather during Monday’s one-minute launch window.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that there is a 10 percent improved odds of a successful landing of the Falcon 9 booster on Cape Canaveral.

ORIGINAL STORY:

SpaceX Launch Aims For Successful Rocket Landing At Cape, Launch Window Opens At 8:29 p.m. ET

(NASA.gov) – Assuming SpaceX’s plans come to fruition, a Falcon 9 flight from Cape Canaveral on Sunday will end with a vertical rocket-assisted landing at an abandoned Cold War-era launch facility a few miles away.

SpaceX confirmed the rocket’s first stage, a slender cylindrical kerosene-fed rocket body standing 156 feet tall, will aim for a controlled touchdown at a landing pad the company rented from the U.S. Air Force less than six miles south of the Falcon 9’s Complex 40 launch pad.

Liftoff is set for a 60-second window opening at 8:29 p.m. EST Sunday (0129 GMT Monday). A backup launch opportunity is available Monday.

A statement released by SpaceX on Saturday said the company planned to recover the Falcon 9’s first stage booster at Landing Zone 1, previously known as Space Launch Complex 13, an Atlas launch facility that was last used in 1978.

The Federal Aviation Administration was expected to formally approve the landing attempt in SpaceX’s commercial launch license.

The Falcon 9’s second stage engine will continue driving into orbit with 11 Orbcomm message relay satellites, the primary objective of Sunday’s launch, after the first stage unlatches and falls away from the upper stage about three minutes after liftoff.

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