SpaceX, one of the United States’ largest commercial space companies that NASA intends to use for future space travel missions, is readying its most powerful rocket yet for a Sunday launch at 8:29 P.M. Eastern Time. The rocket, which is a modified version of its Falcon 9 rocket that failed earlier this year, should not only be more powerful and reliable, but also comes with an additional perk.
So what is the additional perk you might be asking?
Just like the recent Blue Origin launch that occurred late last month thanks to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, SpaceX is aiming to have their bigger and badder rocket come back to Earth and make a safe landing after it finishes its business in space.
The rocket will reportedly attempt to land safely right back on Florida ground after launching from Cape Canaveral in a mission where the rocket will send 11 new satellites into space for a company called Orbcomm Inc.
But we also said the rocket would be bigger and badder than before, and that’s no joke. With up to 200,000 pounds more thrust than the previous Falcon 9 rocket, the upgraded rocket now has up to 1.7 million pounds of thrust, giving it more power to take heavier loads into space.
SpaceX is experimenting with lots of new technology in the modified version of the rocket after the failure to resupply the International Space Station earlier this year because of a failed strut. In its experiments, it will send two rounds of satellites into outer space, and then attempt to resupply the International Space Station once more.
The Elon Musk-owned space company will be working closely with NASA in the future missions to take astronauts to space. They’ve already signed a contract after passing a critical design review, which means the safety and reliability of the rocket technology being tested on Sunday is of utmost importance and will demonstrate SpaceX’s reliability.