Can SpaceX land a rocket on a barge off California?
Elon Musk’s ambitions to corner the space cargo market via reusable rockets will stand a crucial test Sunday morning, when SpaceX engineers will attempt to guide a Falcon 9 rocket back to a ship off the Southern California coast.
Neither of the two previous attempts to stick a sea landing has succeeded.
Sunday’s effort is far more difficult. The full round trip has been compared to vaulting a pencil over the Empire State building, then getting it to come back and land on its eraser atop a floating target smaller than a shoe box, and not tip over.
The Falcon 9 two-stage rocket is slated to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at about 10:42 a.m., carrying a 1,157-pound Earth-observing satellite for U.S. and French government agencies. Its landing, off San Pedro a few minutes later, will be difficult to see with the naked eye.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.latimes.com