After postponing its second launch of the year twice in the last week, SpaceX announced that it is ready to try again on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 6:46 p.m. ET. You can watch the launch live below or on YouTube:
SpaceX’s main mission for this launch is to transport the SES-9 communications satellite into orbit over Asia.
However, the more dramatic, secondary goal will be what happens about 10 minutes after lift-off.
That’s when the first stage will turn around and use GPS tracking to guide itself onto SpaceX’s floating ocean platform called “Of Course I Still Love You.”
The platform will be floating about 400 miles off Florida’s coast.
If SpaceX succeeds, it will be the first successful rocket landing on board an ocean platform in history.
This will be SpaceX fourth attempt at such a landing, and while the company has stated that it has low expectations of success, these rocket landings are a novelty of 21st century spaceflight and worth getting excited about.
If reusable rockets prove a viable method of spaceflight, it could transform the industry and pave a new era of more affordable space launches.
Ultimately, SpaceX’s founder and CEO Elon Musk hopes affordable rocket launches could eventually pave the way to colonies on Mars.
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