After blasting a NOAA weather satellite into orbit 1/17, SpaceX will attempt to land its rocket’s first stage booster on a floating remote-controlled platform in the Pacific Ocean off Vandenberg Air Force Base. The landing is expected to take place a few minutes after liftoff and would be the first successful touchdown of its kind for the private space company and in the entire history of space launch. SpaceX failed at such a landing twice in 2015 but was successful in docking a booster on land. Company CEO Elon Musk has said retrieving boosters ​— ​rather than letting them crash back to Earth ​— ​makes space flight exponentially more affordable.


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