SpaceX is attempting to make a land-based rocket landing sooner than expected, according to NASA source.
SpaceX may be ready to launch a rocket and get it to return to a landing pad rather than an ocean-based platform, Carol Scott, a NASA official, said on Thursday.
"You know how they want to fly the stage back, right? Their plan is to land it out here on the Cape [Canaveral] side," Scott who is part of technical integration for SpaceX within NASA's Commercial Crew Program, told media persons, NBC reported.
Last June, SpaceX encountered a disaster when its Falcon 9 rocket disintegrated during launch. The June rocket failure also resulted in the destruction of a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft meant to resupply the International Space Station.
SpaceX wants a successful launch in December itself as it is contracted to send into orbit 12 Orbcomm OG2 satellites from its Complex 40 launchpad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in mid-December, NBC pointed out.
The Falcon 9 launch was an attempt by SpaceX to land the rocket's first stage on a floating platform called a spaceport drone ship in the Atlantic. The idea is that the rocket stages can be recovered and reused, slashing costs. Two attempts by SpaceX to have successful landings on the drone ship had failed earlier.
Now SpaceX wants to attempt landing the rocket on a pad based on land instead of in the ocean.