The SpaceX company is at a pivotal point in its evolution: the Elon Musk firm will soon test the landing module of its Falcon 9 rocket as well as its floating barge.
Initially, the rocket was to take off yesterday at 12:20 pm Paris time, finally, a technical problem on the second stage of the rocket led to the postponement of the firing from Cape Canaveral in Florida which is reprogrammed to this Friday.
The mission should allow the rocket to propel a Dragon-type capsule, specializing in supplying the International Space Station. The capsule will continue on its way to the ISS as the rocket returns to Earth.
Its various assistance and fall control modules should allow it to land precisely. And precision will be necessary, since the objective is to come and land in the middle of the Atlantic on a barge built for the occasion.
For SpaceX, this is to prove that its rocket is reusable and that it will thus be able to limit the costs of access to Space. But the barge should also be a new asset for the company which will thus be able to have its own mobile shooting range.
By the end of the year, a dozen flights are planned for the rocket, which will have the opportunity to test its ditching procedure. Elon Musk indicates that there is "an 80 to 90% chance that one of these rockets will be able to land on the platform and then go back into space."