SpaceX is shooting for the stars again. This time Elon Musk’s private spaceflight company is reusing a Falcon 9 rocket to launch 10 Iridium telecommunications satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California. SpaceX has a so-called instantaneous launch window set for 10:13 a.m. EDT, which means the rocket has to fly right then or fly another day. In short, synchronize your watches folks, because the webcast below should begin about 15 minutes before that time. (SpaceX has a backup launch date set for Saturday at 10:08 a.m. EDT.)
On a side note, in its efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle its rockets (and save a whole bunch of Earth dollars) SpaceX is hoping to catch some part of payload fairing from the Falcon 9 on its way back to the planet. To that end, it has positioned a boat named Mr. Steven at an oceanic location known only as “Your Mom’s House” to try and capture the rocket’s nose cone before it sinks to the bottom of the ocean. While the recovery effort probably won’t be live-streamed, it will most likely look something like this.
— Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) March 30, 2018