By Mary Beth Griggs
SpaceX delayed launching their Falcon 9 over the weekend, gambling that tonight might have better weather conditions.
The launch will happen in just a few hours time. The Falcon 9 rocket is carrying 11 satellites for ORBCOMM, a communications company that focuses on machine-to-machine connections. The satellites will complete a constellation of satellites already in place that allow companies to monitor transportation, cargo, heavy equipment, and the status of things like oil and gas fields.
But the exciting part is the rocket those satellites will be traveling on. This launch is the first SpaceX launch since a Falcon 9 rocket exploded in June. In the intervening months, SpaceX's team has worked to upgrade the rocket, making it even more powerful.
One of the main goals of SpaceX is to create a reusable rocket. Creating a launch system that isn't disposable would cut costs dramatically (rockets are expensive). To further that goal, SpaceX will attempt to land this rocket on solid ground. Previous attempts used a platform in the middle of the ocean as a potential landing site, but just missed.
Jeff Bezos's company Blue Origin did manage to land a rocket on land last month. But if Elon Musk's SpaceX succeeds tonight, it would be with a larger rocket, capable of launching its cargo into orbit.
Tune in to the SpaceX Webcast tonight around 8:30 pm eastern to watch the launch attempt, or watch the live stream via ORBCOMM's YouTube channel above.
We'll update this post with more details as the launch commences.