Aside from his car company, Tesla, inventor Elon Musk has made history many times over as the first civilian to send rockets into space. Musk’s company, SpaceX, has even launched the second most powerful rocket in history, the Falcon Heavy, which debuted on February 6th, 2018. Since the Falcon Heavy’s historic launch, Musk has remained busy with SpaceX. This morning, March 30th, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket in California, and on Monday, April 2nd, another SpaceX launch will take place in Florida.
The upcoming launch will be held at 4:30 p.m. ET at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Like today’s launch, the SpaceX launch on the 2nd will feature a Falcon 9 rocket, which will be loaded up with supplies to take to the International Space Station. During its mission, the Falcon 9 will gather information about thunderstorms’ impact on Earth’s atmosphere, as well as how to grow food in space and make products from metal powder in zero-gravity.
If you can’t get enough of the science behind SpaceX, NASA TV will discuss the materials on board the Falcon 9 in a prelaunch conference at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET on April 1st. The launch itself will be broadcast live on multiple sites, including NASA TV and the SpaceX website.
SpaceX is not only the first privately funded space exploration venture but also the first company to launch reusable rockets. Today’s launch marked the 10th time that a Falcon 9 rocket has been used for a second voyage; if successful, the April 2nd launch will be the 11th. Currently, Falcon 9 rockets can only be used on two missions, but Musk is hopeful that someday, they will be able to be reused up to 10 times.
The launch today also marked the first attempt to recover a rocket’s nose cone (or “fairing”) which usually falls into the ocean after a launch. But today, a ship named Mr. Steven attempted to catch half of the giant nose cone in a net. (As of this writing, the results of this effort had not been announced.)
Thanks to SpaceX, we have witnessed incredible innovations in the realm of space travel. We can’t wait to see the next launch, and we’re sure it will be out of this world.