Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

SpaceX Planning for Falcon 9 First-Stage Landing Attempt on Land During Upcoming Mission; Brevard County, Fla. Residents May Experience First Sonic Boom Since Space Shuttle | Business Wire

HAWTHORNE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today SpaceX confirmed that the company is targeting launch of the 11 ORBCOMM satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. on Sunday, Dec. 20. The 60-second launch window opens at 8:29 p.m. ET. If needed, a backup launch opportunity is available on Dec. 21.

In addition to the primary mission of launching ORBCOMM’s fleet of commercial communications satellites, SpaceX is attempting a secondary test objective of landing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on land for the first time at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1. Previous attempts to recover the first-stage of the Falcon 9 have been attempted out at sea using the company’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships. Landing Zone 1 was previously known as Space Launch Complex 13, a former U.S. Air Force rocket and missile testing range last used in 1978. If successful, this test would mark the first time in history an orbital rocket has successfully achieved a land landing.

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