SpaceX Sets Dec. 20 For ‘Return to Flight’ Launch and Historic Rocket Ground Landing Recovery Attempt – Watch Live

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for Orbcomm OG2 launch slated for Dec. 20, 2015 stands vertical at pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, Fla.  Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX CEO Elon Muck announced today (Dec. 19) that his company plans to launch an upgraded version of its Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday night, Dec. 20, from Cape Canaveral, Florida – for the first time since it failed in flight six months ago on a mission for NASA to the space station – after successfully completing a crucial test of the rockets engines late Friday night.

Furthermore, SpaceX confirmed says it will conduct a historic first ever attempt to recover the commercialrocket’s first stage by a soft landing on the ground at a special SpaceX landing zone on the Cape’s Air Force Station.

The path to Sunday’s ‘Return to Flight’ launch was cleared after SpaceX successfully conducted a static hot fire test of the Falcon 9 first stages engines at the Florida space coast launch pad last night.

“Static fire test looks good,” Musk confirmed via Twitter. “Pending data review, will aim to launch Sunday.”

Sunday’s launch of the 229 foot tall Falcon 9 from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. is slated for 8:29 p.m. ET.

Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 – in a newly enhanced upgraded configuration – would carrying a payload of eleven small commercial communications satellites for Orbcomm on the OG2 mission.

“The Falcon 9 will launch eleven next generation OG2 satellites as part of ORBCOMM’s second and final OG2 Mission at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida,” says Orbcomm.

A successful launch is critical to SpaceX which has a fully booked manifest of more than 50 launches waiting in line and worth billions of dollars in needed revenue to the firm.

The launch window lasts 60 seconds launch and opens at 8:29 p.m. ET.

A live webcast will be available at beginning at approximately 8:05 p.m. —> Read More