Owned by billionaire CEO Elon Musk, private space company SpaceX is set to dispatch its Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday, January 6 by 6:20 a.m. at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida.
The SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy will be a remotely-guided spacecraft to the ISS, and it will bear food supplies, technical equipment, and cubesats – small satellites designed to observe our planet – to the ISS. The successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and its successful return to Earth will mark a huge shift in the way private and government space agencies send unmanned spacecrafts to space, and it will signal a significant progress in space enterprise for all concerned.
Furthermore, being a private space organization, the successful dispatch and return of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 will cause the costs of launching spacecrafts into space to drop by several millions of dollars.
Elon Musk’s company will be landing the Falcon 9 back on Earth on a drifting platform that operates like an oil rig. But this feat might prove significantly difficult considering the fact that Falcon 9’s height is no less than 14 storys, and that it will be blasting back to Earth at a speed of 1,300 miles per second. SpaceX has worked on several trial landings, and during the last trial the rocket was brought down in the middle of the Ocean in the most delicate manner. And this makes landing the most challenging task the rocket faces, not launching.
SpaceX is remotely aware that weather conditions on Tuesday have a 40% chance of affecting the rocket’s launch, and shifting off the launch till Wednesday will offer the rocket launch a 30% chance to be affected by inclement weather, but the company is set to make the best of whatever weather conditions present itself.