SpaceX Plans Drone Ship Rocket Landing for Jan. 17 Launch

Deep Space Observatory

SpaceX confirmed it is planning on landing a Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea on Jan. 17, NBC News reported.

This launch will take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It will carry NASA’s Jason-3 satellite, which holds instruments to monitor the ocean's surface, collecting information about circulation patterns and perhaps rising sea levels.

The company succeeded Dec. 22 in making its first-stage rocket return safely to Earth and land upright at a predetermined location nears its launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

A previous attempt in January 2015 to land a Falcon 9 on a "drone ship" almost succeeded, but a last-minute failure saw the rocket topple over and explode.  

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