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SpaceX Will Try Again for a Landing at Sea

The next launch will use the last of the older-version Falcon 9 rockets.


After making history in December with its Falcon 9 rocket landing, SpaceX is going to attempt to land the vehicle again on a floating platform at sea. It’s a stunt that the company tried twice before in 2015 — and failed at it twice, before succeeding on land.

SpaceX is using a different, older vehicle for this launch, which is what prompted the change. It’s using the last of its Falcon 9 v1.1 vehicle. That’s the version the company was launching before it unveiled its newer, more powerful Falcon 9 — the one that was used for the landing. The updated version has much more thrust than its predecessor, making it easier for the booster to return back to Earth. The Falcon 9 v1.1 isn’t as capable, however, and the company says a sea landing will require less fuel.

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