Offshore barge landing targeted after next Falcon 9 launch | Spaceflight Now
Nearly a month after nailing a landing a rocket landing at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX plans to steer the next flight of a Falcon 9 booster toward a recovery vessel in the Pacific Ocean after a Jan. 17 blastoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
SpaceX has tried landing the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on an ocean-going barge two times in the Atlantic Ocean following launches from Cape Canaveral, but the booster was unable to make a smooth touchdown on either attempt.
An unprecedented flyback maneuver after a Dec. 21 liftoff from Florida ended with a successful descent to a landing zone SpaceX leases from the U.S. Air Force a few miles south of the Falcon 9’s Cape Canaveral launch pad, giving the entrepreneurial space transportation company a key achievement on the path toward developing and demonstrating a reusable rocket.
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