A month after private space company SpaceX’s last effort to launch its dedicated rockets turned into a catastrophic experiment, it has decided to make another attempt of landing one of its Falcon 9 rockets on an ocean drone ship.
Elon Musk’s space firm will be trying to land the first stage of its 14-story Falcon 9 rocket following the launch of the Deep Space Climate Observatory (or DSCOVR) on Sunday at 6:10 pm EST (2310 GMT) from Florida-based Cape Canaveral Air Force Base station.
The entire take off will be webcast live by NASA TV.
Initially, the launch was slated for 2014-end, but the DISCOVR mission was put on hold after the American space agency sought for more time for the loading of supplies on the pretext of Antares rocket explosion of the Orbital Sciences.
On January 10, SpaceX attempted the landing of a Falcon 9 rocket. But the hydraulic fluid exhausted in the booster for its four grid steering fins. The rocket stage further slammed into the company’s drone ship and ended in a catastrophic explosion.
This will be the second try in two months by SpaceX to make the landing of a rocket on a floating hovership possible as part of Musk’s dream of making the rocket technology reusable.
NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration joined each other for the DSCOVR mission in order to provide real-time solar wind monitoring, an important requirement for weather forecasting.
NASA’s DSCOVR project boffin Adam Szabo said, “One of our main queries about the solar wind is related to the fact that it cools down as it moves toward the planet Earth but not as fast as per the expectation. We believe there is a heating mechanism that may delay the cooling process. The solar wind instruments on DSCOVR will assist in determining what is the real thing behind this extra heat.”
The satellite can immensely contribute in space weather forecast. This will facilitate the scientists in better understanding the space weather and the probable consequences of a likely disruption to the artificial electronics and the electricity grids caused due to the solar events.