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Watch SpaceX’s Latest Attempt To Catch A Rocket Live [UPDATED]

Watch SpaceX’s Latest Attempt To Catch A Rocket Live [UPDATED]

The first time Elon Musk’s intrepid company SpaceX attempted to prove that it could reuse a rocket stage by landing it on a drone barge floating in the Atlantic, it literally had to pick up the pieces and try again. SpaceX’s second and third attempt of this proof-of-concept were aborted due to bad weather.

The fourth time, streaming below, will hopefully be the charm as SpaceX once again attempts to land a rocket stage from their latest resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Sitting atop the Falcon 9 rocket they hope to recapture, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will blast off today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It will be the sixth resupply mission out of 12 that NASA has contracted SpaceX for. Shortly after liftoff, 4,400 pounds of food and supplies will be headed towards the ISS, eventually docking with the station for weeks before returning home (read: smashing through the atmosphere and into the ocean) with thousands of pounds of waste and used supplies.

But approximately nine minutes after launch is when we will find out whether or not SpaceX can prove their rockets are reusable, and that the costs of space flight can come way down.

SpaceXLaunch3_CHARTClick to enlarge.

SpaceX has learned from their previous “failures” too. The weather has about a 60% chance of being suitable for today’s launch and recapture, and Musk’s team doesn’t plan on repeating the first explosive landing, where the first Falcon 9 stage simply ran out of hydraulic fluid. “Since our last landing attempt,” says SpaceX, “the drone ship has been upgraded to tolerate more powerful ocean swells, however weather at the landing site is looking significantly better this time.”

IMAGES: SpaceX

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