If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. For SpaceX, that means giving it another shot after crash-landing an experimental, reusable rocket less than a month ago.
The private space company spearheaded by Elon Musk is cooking up something truly revolutionary, assuming they can get the kinks worked out. Basically, the company is testing the reusability aspects of its Falcon 9 rocket, with the goal being to use the rocket to launch a ship/satellite/etc., then bring it back safely to Earth on its own landing pad to be used again.
It’d cut out a ton of the expense associated with spaceflight, assuming the company can actually pull it off. The first attempt on Jan. 10 ended with the rocket bouncing off the landing barge in a mild explosion, but Musk said they believe the problem was caused when the rocket ran out of hydraulic fluid needed to make a smooth landing. The next attempt will have 50 percent more fluid on board, and if all goes as planned, it should look something like this.
Attempt No. 2 will take place this Sunday, when SpaceX uses its Falcon 9 to launch the U.S. government’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite to monitor space weather. The launch is tentatively set for 6:10 p.m. (EST), though that could change depending on weather conditions.
If you need a reminder of what happened last time, check it out below. Here’s hoping for a better result this weekend.