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SpaceX launch, Falcon 9 hard landing now happening on Saturday

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NASA has announced that SpaceX will be attempting the Dragon cargo capsule launch on Saturday January 10 instead of Friday without providing any reason for the delay. This means that SpaceX will also try the highly anticipated hard landing of its Falcon 9 rocket on the same day.

“SpaceX will make its next attempt to launch the Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida to send the unpiloted Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station on Saturday, Jan. 10”, NASA announced in a press release.

The mission is important for two reasons. First, the Dragon Cargo capsule is bringing supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) including supplies, equipment and experiments and secondly, SpaceX will be trying out a-never-attempted-before hard landing of its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating barge in the Atlantic Ocean.

The previous launch attempt was aborted with less than a minute and a half left in the countdown on Tuesday owing to issues with the actuator. NASA had earlier said that the launch would happen on Friday.

There were reports that SpaceX will be replacing the actuator on the Falcon’s second stage in a bid to avert any further delays and any possible disasters and this could be the reason behind a day’s delay.

“Launch time is approximately 4:47 a.m. Eastern time. NASA TV coverage will begin at 3:30 a.m. Eastern time”, NASA announced. If the launch is successful, the Dragon capsule will be “arriving at the station for its grapple on Monday, Jan. 12 at approximately 6 a.m. Eastern time”.

In case there are further delays, the next earliest launch opportunity would be on Tuesday, January 13, NASA added.