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Tue, Jan 12, 2016

SpaceX Plans Ocean Recovery Following Next Falcon 9 Launch

Company Plans To Boost NASA's Jason-3 Satellite Into Orbit From Vandenberg AFB Next Sunday

When SpaceX launches NASA's Jason-3 ocean-monitoring satellite into orbit ... planned for next Sunday from Vandenberg AFB in California ... the company will again attempt to recover the Falcon 9 booster. But this time they'll again go for a recovery on a floating platform … this time in the Pacific ocean … rather than a return to land.

SpaceX has tried twice before to land boosters on its automated floating landing platform in the Atlantic. Both boosters were lost.

But The Verge reports that for the planned January 17 launch of Jason-3, SpaceX will be using one of its older variants of the Falcon 9, and a landing attempt on the drone ship will require much less fuel for the landing attempt. Rather than turn the booster around and head back to California, the rocket can continue along its parabolic course towards the landing zone.

SpaceX said that the launch will employ the last of its Falcon 9 v1.1 boosters.

(Image from SpaceX YouTube video)

FMI: www.spacex.com

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