(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — SpaceX is set to put one of its rockets to the ultimate test on Saturday when it blasts off with cargo bound for the International Space Station — and then recycle it.
Having the ability to recycle rockets is something SpaceX founder Elon Musk said will “revolutionize access to space.”
“If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred,” he said.
If all goes according to plan, the SpaceX mission to the ISS will lift off as 4:47 a.m. on Saturday with 5,000 pounds of supplies and goodies on board for the astronauts.
Shortly after liftoff, the rocket will detach and begin a controlled descent to Earth. SpaceX officials hope the rocket will make a pinpoint landing on a floating platform.
The Falcon 9 reusable rocket demonstrated in a test flight last year how it is supposed to perform. Video shows the rocket blasting off from the SpaceX test facility and soaring to 1,000 meters before coming back down to Earth for a controlled landing.
The latest launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was called off with less than a minute to liftoff so SpaceX could troubleshoot an issue, according to a tweet from Musk.
This will be the fifth launch to the space station for the private company that is filling in the gap for NASA with cargo deliveries that were slowed down when the agency’s space shuttle program ended.
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