SpaceX Will Soon Launch Its Most Powerful Rocket Yet

SpaceX Will Soon Launch Its Most Powerful Rocket Yet

Six months after a rocket exploded in June, SpaceX is on the verge of taking to the sky again—with a souped up Falcon 9 booster more powerful than anything the commercial spaceflight company has ever launched. On Sunday, SpaceX is tentatively scheduled to launch a new Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The rocket will ferry 11 OG2 satellites into orbit for telecommunications company Orbcomm Inc. Whether the launch proceeds as scheduled is unclear at this point, as SpaceX has not yet completed the pre-launch static engine test fire expected to occur Thursday. The static fire involves briefly blasting the rocket’s nine first stage Merlin engines while bolted to the ground at Space Launch Complex 40. SpaceX has already made several failed attempts to land Falcon 9 boosters on ocean barges this year, as part of the company’s long-term goal of creating a reusable rocket system that would significantly reduce the cost of launching payloads into orbit. The rocket company has been unusually tight-lipped about the details of the upcoming launch—including whether it’ll be attempting to land the upgraded Falcon 9 booster after ferrying its payload into orbit. In November, Blue Origin stole a little of SpaceX’s reusable rocket thunder, by sending a New Shepherd rocket to the edge of space and successfully landing it back on solid turf—a first in the history of spaceflight. Read More: Gizmodo
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