Earlier this week, a SpaceX rocket launch was scrapped, due to a last-minute technical glitch. The next cargo run to the International Space Station is scheduled at 4:47 a.m. ET on Saturday, with a pioneering attempt that may revolutionize space travel. CCTV America’s John Zarrella reported this story from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
SpaceX rocket launch could revolutionize, economize space travelEarlier this week, a SpaceX rocket launch was scrapped, due to a last-minute technical glitch. The next cargo run to the International Space Station is scheduled at 4:47 a.m. ET on Saturday, with a pioneering attempt that may revolutionize space travel. CCTV America's John Zarrella reported this story from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
SpaceX is no stranger to history-making events. It was the first commercial company to rendezvous and dock a vehicle, its Dragon capsule, with the International Space Station. Now the company, and its billionaire founder Elon Musk, are again looking to change the future of space flight.
Historically, when booster rockets lift satellites and spacecraft out of Earth’s atmosphere, they fall back into the ocean.
But during the upcoming resupply mission to the International Space Station, SpaceX will attempt to soft land the first-stage booster of its Falcon 9 rocket on a massive floating platform, called an autonomous drone ship, off the Florida coast.
“There’s a certain likelihood that this will not work out right. Something will go wrong. It’s the first time we’ve tried this. Nobody has ever tried that to our knowledge,” SpaceX Vice President of Mission Assurance Hans Koenigsmann said.
In the past, the company has landed a booster back in the ocean and returned it to a launch pad after a brief low-altitude test, but never from 240 kilometers (149.13 miles) above Earth to a floating platform below.
If SpaceX can turn throw-away boosters in to re-usable ones, it would save perhaps $60 million per launch. Space X also believes re-usable rockets would drop the price of putting something in orbit from thousands of dollars per pound to as low as ten bucks per pound one day.
Dramatically reducing costs is a space game changer. For private companies, it could begin to make economic sense to mine an asteroid or take tourists into orbit, making the idea of routine space flight and idea no longer.
Ryan Faith of Vice News discusses future of space exploration
Therefore, if this rocket launch is successful, what could that mean for the future of space exploration? CCTV America interviewed Ryan Faith. He’s the defense and national security editor of Vice News, an international news organization.