What is the SpaceX Falcon 9 that’s launching today?

Space lovers may already know that SpaceX spent months preparing for the next Falcon 9 launch scheduled for yesterday Tuesday, January 30th. However, the launch was postponed to today, January 31st, due to a minor technical glitch involving a sensor. It’s now expected to launch sometime between 4:25 p.m. ET and  6:46 p.m. ET.

But what’s the big deal with this Falcon 9 anyway? For all those wondering: We’ve got you.

Firstly, what is SpaceX?

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is an aerospace manufacturing company founded by Elon Musk in 2002. It manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecrafts with the intention of revolutionizing space technology so that one day people may be able to travel and live on other planets.

In other words, they’re trying to make spacecrafts like that one in the movie Passengers

Last year, Musk revealed that SpaceX plans to send two people on a trip around the moon in 2018. The flight would extend nearly 400,000 miles into space, meaning it will take humans farther from Earth than ever before.

So, what exactly is the Falcon 9?

The Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket that was designed and manufactured by SpaceX. It’s made to transport satellites and other space crafts into orbit.

On January 7th, 2018, SpaceX launched a classified satellite named Zuma, which was presumed to have been destroyed after it never reached orbit. According to multiple reports, it failed to separate from the Falcon 9 rocket, causing them both to plummet back into the atmosphere and burn.


What is the SpaceX Falcon 9 used for?

The SpaceX Falcon 9 has made multiple flights back and forth to deliver and return cargo for NASA. The Falcon 9 is also the first rocket capable of reflight.

In the past, orbital rockets had a one-time lifespan, and each mission required an entirely new rocket to be built. But, SpaceX believes that reusing rockets is the best way to reduce the cost of space travel.

Very cool, right? Perhaps Musk’s dream of eventually sending people to Mars isn’t as far-fetched as many thought…