The goal of the flight is to boost the SES 10 relay station into orbit, a powerful communications satellite that will replace two older SES spacecraft now providing direct-to-home television, data and maritime services to Latin America, from Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the tip of Argentina. In the meantime, SpaceX is flying from Kennedy Space Center's historic Launch Pad 39A, which the company leased from NASA in 2014, and from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Reusing rockets has the potential to greatly reduce the cost of access to space, allowing more companies and people to fly various payloads to orbit and even beyond. While this won't be the first used rocket to ever go into space - Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin launched a used one into space previous year - if all goes according to plan, this one will be the first used rocket to ever take on an orbital mission.
The SpaceX innovation is to design that first stage, the heaviest and most expensive bit, to come back down to Earth, landing either on land or on specially designed droneships at sea. That rocket company, started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has also recently mastered reusable rocketry. After they jettisoned from the sides of the liquid fuel tank that supported the Shuttle's flight to orbit, they parachuted down to splash into the ocean, and then were retrieved and brought back to land by ships to be used again for a future mission. This isn't just a regular launch for Elon Musk and the gang.
SpaceX has demonstrated multiple times that it's capable of landing its reusable Falcon 9 rocket back on solid ground.
The private space exploration company - headed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk - plans to launch another mission to space on Thursday at 6 pm ET out of Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Shotwell said earlier this month that the company intends to fly up to six reused boosters this year.
GOP lawmakers revive bill to appoint state schools chief
Typically, Senate rules would prohibit the Senate from taking up the matter again during the same Legislative session. Monday's 21-10 vote leaves the measure just a final, largely ceremonial vote away from going to the House.
We might see history being made by SpaceX in a few days.
SpaceX will send a used Falcon 9 rocket into space carrying a telecommunications satellite from the Space Coast.
The first stage of the Falcon rocket being tested today launched an ISS resupply mission almost a year ago.
After successful retrieval and landing of Falcon 9 rockets, it looks like SpaceX is ready for the next step - to reuse them.
As for the booster, it will return to Earth for a second time, hopefully setting down once again on the floating autonomous drone ship named Of Course I Still Love You - Musk named the drones after spaceships with sentient AIs in a book by scifi author Iain M. Banks. Forecasters are predicting an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather.
"I think the whole industry is looking", he said.