Friday, February 17, 2017

All systems go: SpaceX is set to launch a rocket Saturday morning from Cape Canaveral

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 10:56 AM

click image Vultures on the roof of NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building stare at SpaceX’s rocket hangar near Launch Complex 39A, where the CRS-10 Falcon 9 will launch from. - PHOTO BY JOEY ROULETTE
  • Photo by Joey Roulette
  • Vultures on the roof of NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building stare at SpaceX’s rocket hangar near Launch Complex 39A, where the CRS-10 Falcon 9 will launch from.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX will carry out its 10th cargo resupply mission (CRS-10) Saturday from NASA’s historic 39A launch pad in Cape Canaveral.

If you live in Cape Canaveral, prepare to hear the Falcon 9’s rattling sonic boom when it returns to Earth’s atmosphere. During the CRS-9 mission last July, even Orlando citizens reportedly heard the sonic boom from the booster’s atmospheric descent.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket booster will launch its Dragon space capsule from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Minutes after the Dragon is pushed into space, the rocket booster will make its way back down to earth for a ground-landing on Landing Zone 1 just a few miles from the launch pad. CRS-10 is the second SpaceX mission this year as well as the first launch from Cape Canaveral since the Amos 6 anomaly last September.

Space enthusiasts are anticipating the launch as an important milestone for space exploration. CRS-10 will take off from the same launch pad that sent astronauts to the moon during NASA’s famous Apollo missions. Launch Pad 39A hasn’t been used since NASA ended its shuttle program in 2011, with its final STS-135 mission.

In 2014, SpaceX and NASA announced a 20-year property agreement with the 39A launch pad, granting the corporation a platform for future launch missions like the Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 Block 5. SpaceX is demonstrating its first use of the historic launch pad with Saturday’s CRS-10 mission.

SpaceX missions are famous for their rockets’ reusability. Landing a rocket minutes after its takeoff is a technological feat achieved by SpaceX in early 2014 that has since mobilized the space exploration market.

Mission managers will be live-streaming prelaunch activities and briefings here in the days leading up to the launch. Tune in to that same link at 8:30 a.m. Saturday for a live stream of the launch at 10:01 a.m.

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