A rocket company's prosperity is largely decided by the successes (or failures) of its launches. For Elon Musk's SpaceX, that fact looms large in anticipation of tonight's launch.
Not only will the Falcon 9 launch mark SpaceX's "return to flight," or the first launch since the Falcon 9 exploded mid-flight back in June, but the company will also attempt to land the first stage of the rocket. Not only that, but this time SpaceX is changing its strategy for that landing — instead of attempting to land the first stage on a floating ship in the ocean, the company will try to touch it down on land at Cape Canaveral.
There's a lot of pressure on SpaceX with this launch, so much so that Elon Musk pushed it back 24 hours just to increase the chances of landing the rocket by 10 percent. If SpaceX is successful, it will be the second company to land a rocket stage (after Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin performed the feat last month) and the first to do it with an orbital rocket.
That's a lot to take in! So we (myself and Loren Grush) will be live blogging the entire event starting at 7:30PM ET and running all the way through the live stream. The launch is scheduled for 8:29PM ET, and the rocket has a five minute window to get off the launchpad before the whole thing is delayed until December 28th.
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