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News Picks : Launch of SpaceX reusable rocket is delayed

By: Physics Today
14 March 2014
Florida Today: The Sunday launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX has been pushed back until at least 30 March. The privately owned space exploration company has been working to achieve a milestone event: the launch and recovery of a reusable rocket stage. Most booster rockets are designed to break up and disintegrate after takeoff. With Falcon 9, however, the first-stage rocket will be able to fire its engines again so that it can slow its descent, hover over the Atlantic Ocean, deploy four landing legs, and then cut its engines and drop into the water. Being able to reuse a rocket would save considerably on the cost of space missions. Landing in the ocean is a safety precaution—future flights will touch down on land.

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