SpaceX aims to pull off another launch-and-landing double play today (Oct. 30), and you can watch all the spaceflight action live.
A SpaceX two-stage Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch the KoreaSat 5A communications satellite at 3:34 p.m. EDT (1934 GMT) today from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. You can watch directly via the company at http://www.spacex.com/webcast.
If all goes according to plan, the booster’s first stage will return to Earth for a soft landing less than 10 minutes after liftoff, settling vertically onto a SpaceX “drone ship” stationed off the Florida coast.
Such landings are part of SpaceX’s plan to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets and space vehicles, a key priority for the company and its billionaire founder and CEO, Elon Musk. To date, SpaceX has aced 18 Falcon 9 touchdowns and re-launched landed boosters on three different occasions.
KoreaSat 5A is owned by the South Korean company KTSat. The satellite will provide TV and other communications services to people in South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia, according to the company’s website. The satellite will also aid maritime communications from East Africa to East Asia.
KoreaSat 5A will replace KoreaSat 5, which launched in 2006.