Elon Musk told everyone it was “90% go” weather for the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch on May 26, but it was caution not Mother Nature that delayed the attempt. A “tiny glitch in the motion of an upper stage engine actuator” was worth investigating, the team determined. As every great entrepreneur like Musk knows: tomorrow brings another chance. What won’t change with the schedule adjustment is the expected difficulty of conditions at reentry, what Musk described in his original tweet as “Droneship landing challenging — very hot and fast first-stage reentry.”
That’s the exciting part. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will deliver its satellite to orbit 20,000 miles above earth’s surface — that’s sort of old hat. But then SpaceX will again try to bring its rocket home, landing the Falcon 9 on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. If successful, it’ll be the third time SpaceX has returned a rocket to a drone ship in the ocean. (They’ve also landed one back on the terra firma.) With the rocket costing approximately $60 million to build, that’s a very profitable return. Then they just need to do the maintenance and fuel it up again, at a cost of about $200,000.
Live stream is here:
Weather 90% go for 5:40pm ET launch today. Droneship landing challenging — very hot and fast first-stage reentry pic.twitter.com/IU66G2SntU
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 26, 2016