SpaceX is going to have a very busy day on Sunday. The company who has been pushing the limits of space travel for months now, trying, and even failing, to land a rocket on a barge at sea – will make a second attempt at that today. The company owned by Elon Musk will make an attempt at landing its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform. The barge, which is located in the Atlantic Ocean will be having the rocket guided down onto it, with hopefully different results than the previous attempt. The last attempt, which was that failure, was a failure due to the fact that the rocket ran out of hydraulic fluid. As the craft ran out of fluid it wasn’t able to appropriately slow down enough before impact. This time though, the company says that they are ready, due to the fact that they have included 50% more hydraulic fluid than in the previous attempt.
The necessity of finding a way to safely land these rockets though is something that would be incredibly beneficial to the entire space expedition field. This particular landing will be more difficult, but if it is done successfully, with twice as much force and four times as much heat – it will give scientists and those companies building rockets – the ability to reuse rockets after they run one time. Previously, this was something that wasn’t possible due to the violent landings that the rockets would often encounter.
However, all of this will be coming to fruition thanks to the Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, which will be providing a look at Earth from a satellite perspective and give meteorologists, as well as weather organizations a better understanding of weather here on Earth. Tom Berger of NOAA pointed out that “DSCOVR will provide the observations necessary to help us deliver warnings and alerts to industries affected by space weather so they can take action to protect infrastructure and be more resilient in the face of severe events.”
The launch will take place at 610pm Eastern Time from Cape Canaveral Air Force base in Florida. The hopeful landing that will take place off the coast of Jacksonville, should work very well to proving whether this is something that is still within SpaceX’s wingspan. If the company struggles to make this launch and landing, then people will begin asking more serious questions about the validity of the project in the first place.