The next mission of SpaceX is on next Sunday, January 17, 2016.
Elon Musk's SpaceX has another exciting mission coming up on Sunday, January 17. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is going to carry the Jason-3 satellite into orbit and will attempt to land on a drone ship. This is something that has failed already, but SpaceX is not giving up on the idea. The private space company successfully landed a Falcon 9 on land in December.
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The successful landing in December should help with the landing on sea, magnitudes more difficult than landing on solid ground.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The pay load is the Jason 3 satellite. Jason-3, an international mission led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to continue U.S.- European satellite measurements of the topography of the ocean surface.
Jason-3 will continue the ability to monitor and precisely measure global sea surface heights, monitor the intensification of tropical cyclones and support seasonal and coastal forecasts. Jason-3 data also will benefit fisheries management, marine industries and research into human impacts on the world’s oceans. The mission is planned to last at least three years, with a goal of five years.
Jason-3 is a four-agency international partnership consisting of NOAA, NASA, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, France’s space agency, and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites. Thales Alenia of France built the spacecraft.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is responsible for NASA Jason-3 project management. NASA’s Launch Services Program at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida provides launch management. SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, is NASA’s launch service provider of the Falcon 9 rocket.
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Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East is targeted for 10:42 a.m. PST (1:42 p.m. EST), at the opening of a tight 30-second launch window. There is already a backup launch opportunity identified at 10:41 a.m. PST (1:31 p.m. EST) on Monday, Jan. 18.