SpaceX Does a Reality Check on Its Falcon 9 Rocket Landing Plan

December 19, 2014 9:38 PM

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The SpaceX launch company is scaling back expectations for an unprecedented rocket landing on a floating ocean platform, comparing the feat to "trying to balance a rubber broomstick on your hand in the middle of a windstorm."

The experiment is scheduled to take place on Jan. 6, when SpaceX sends a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket and its uncrewed Dragon cargo capsule toward the International Space Station on a resupply run. After stage separation at an altitude of roughly 60 miles (100 kilometers), the Falcon's first stage is s...

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