SpaceX has rescheduled the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, hoping to boost the chance that the company will be able to succeed in its attempt to land a rocket on land for the first time. The CEO of the company, Elon Musk, tweeted four hours before the original launch time Sunday, saying that waiting 24 hours boosts the likelihood that that portion of the mission -- seen as a secondary priority -- will be successful.
SpaceX has tried several times to land first-stage launch gear before, but has failed after several close calls. Previous attempts have focused on landing the gear on barges in the ocean, according to NASASpaceflight.com .
The new launch time is scheduled for 8:33 p.m. EST on Monday.
Just reviewed mission params w SpaceX team. Monte Carlo runs show tmrw night has a 10% higher chance of a good landing. Punting 24 hrs.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2015
Musk has put a focus on landing the launch gear in order to lower the costs involved in space flight and travel. Recovering the rockets that break off from the vehicles entering into space, and then reusing them, would allow SpaceX to save on rocket money.
Landing a rocket on land presents risks, of course. Unlike in ordinary times, reporters will not be allowed to view the launch and landing from the Cape Canaveral Air Force base. Officials say that populated areas nearby have nothing to worry about because the rockets can be remotely detonated if they appear to be heading toward cities or towns. Nonessential personnel will not be allowed near the launch site.
The primary mission tasked to SpaceX is to put satellites into orbit for Orbcomm. The rocket was rolled out of its hangar on Dec. 16, according to Orbcomm’s website , which has been providing live updates of the proceedings. Waiting another day also allows the liquid oxygen used in the launch to chill more.