Watch Spaceflight Company SpaceX Launch a Falcon Rocket for NASA Today! (Livestream)
The private spaceflight company, SpaceX, is counting down to launch an unmanned space capsule today. Now, you can watch the blastoff live online.
SpaceX has risen to be one of the more established private space firms, despite having some growing pains in the beginning. Failed rocket tests peppered the media as the firm tried to get off the ground. Now, though, SpaceX has had a string of successes that have helped changed public perception. Eventually, the company hopes to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS rather than just cargo. Their current date for reaching that goal is 2015.
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Today, the company will launch a Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rocket will help launch a robotic Dragon space capsule into orbit. The capsule itself is packed with NASA cargo--about 1,200-pounds worth of supplies and experiments--that will help resupply the ISS. This isn't the first time the company has resupplied the ISS, either. It's done two previous missions.
On March 2, the space station's robot arm will snag the Dragon spacecraft when it arrives. The SpaceX capsule will then remain attached to the ISS Harmony module for a few weeks as cargo is unloaded and experiment samples are placed in the spacecraft for its return journey to Earth.
Yet the launch isn't going to be private. NASA has offered 50 social media users the chance to watch the launch and engage in pre-launch activities at Cape Canaveral with the same privileges as accredited media. The lucky winners of NASA's social media contest will now get to see the launch in person.
If you didn't win, don't worry. There are two options for watching the launch live online. NASA and SpaceX will both provide webcasts to give fans a chance to tune in. NASA's launch webcast will begin at 8:30 a.m. EST while SpaceX's webcast will begin at about 9:30 a.m. EST. The launch itself is scheduled to take place at 10:10 a.m. EST. Don't miss the show! Watch the NASA webcast here and SpaceX's webcast here.