SpaceX is gearing up for its next big launch. According to a tweet from Elon Musk, SpaceX's drone spaceport ship has left the dock and headed to its hold position in the Atlantic Ocean. Tomorrow, the company will launch its Falcon 9 rocket and attempt to land it on the 30,000 square-foot ship, with engineers attempting a landing accuracy of 10 meters on each side. SpaceX is the first company to attempt a rocket landing of this scope, although it has never successfully carried one out. In August, a Falcon 9 exploded in mid-air during a similar test flight over MacGregor, Texas.
Drone spaceport ship heads to its hold position in the Atlantic to prepare for a rocket landing pic.twitter.com/kXYHGVKTfE— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 5, 2015
It's a tricky task, and the Falcon rocket may not succeed. The launch initially scheduled for December, but hit delays after a faulty test fire, and a SpaceX post on the earlier test put the odds of success at "50 percent at best." But even if the test fails, it marks the beginning in a series of tests that SpaceX hopes will culminate in a rocket design that can be reused after launch — a huge source of savings in the otherwise exorbitant world of space flight. The launch is currently scheduled for tomorrow, January 6th, after which we'll know more about how the Falcon performed.