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Despite the 100 per cent success of bringing back a Falcon-9 rocket to Earth in December, SpaceX now says that its next attempt of a successful return will be on a floating barge out at sea. Two previous attempts at a barge landing have been unsuccessful.
The reason is that SpaceX is using a different, older version of the Falcon-9 (version 1.1). This version, says SpaceX, isn’t quite as powerful as its latest rockets and a sea landing needs less fuel because the barge can be waiting at the end of the rocket’s journey.
The scheduled launch is a week away, on January 17th when the rocket’s primary mission is to loft a Jason-3 ocean monitoring satellite for NASA. The launch will take place from Vandenberg airbase in California.