SpaceX Confirms Upcoming Falcon 9 First-Stage Landing Attempt on Land

Falcon 9 first stage landing. Image Credit: SpaceX

Falcon 9 first stage landing. Image Credit: SpaceX

Today SpaceX confirmed that the company is targeting the launch of its ninth NASA Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-9) aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Monday, July 18 at 12:45 a.m. EDT.

As with prior NASA Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) missions, Falcon-9 will launch with an instantaneous launch window. If needed, a backup launch opportunity is available on July 20 at 12:00 a.m. EDT.

In addition to the primary mission of delivering critical cargo to the International Space Station, SpaceX is attempting the secondary mission of landing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Landing Zone 1. SpaceX first landed a first stage booster at Landing Zone 1 on December 22, 2015 as part of the ORBCOMM-2 mission. SpaceX has previously successfully recovered first stage rockets from three missions at sea using the company’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships. Landing Zone 1 is built on the former site of Space Launch Complex 13, a U.S. Air Force rocket and missile testing range.

As with the return of the first stage from the ORBCOMM-2 mission, there is the possibility that residents of northern and central Brevard County, Florida may hear one or more sonic booms during landing. A sonic boom is a brief thunder-like noise a person on the ground hears when an aircraft or other vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound.

Residents may wish to follow the company’s launch webcast for real time information concerning Monday’s launch. The webcast will be available at beginning at approximately 12:25 a.m. EDT, July 18.