SpaceX shoots for launch to station, rocket landing on barge 

click to enlarge SpaceX chief Elon Musk predicts a 50-50 chance of success for the Falcon rocket to land on a barge in the Atlantic. - JAE C. HONG/AP FILE PHOTO
  • Jae C. Hong/AP File Photo
  • SpaceX chief Elon Musk predicts a 50-50 chance of success for the Falcon rocket to land on a barge in the Atlantic.

SpaceX is making another supply run to the International Space Station for NASA. But it's the rocket's return -- not its takeoff -- that has space fans talking.

Minutes after Tuesday morning's planned launch from Cape Canaveral, the first stage of the unmanned Falcon rocket will aim for a vertical test landing on a barge in the Atlantic. The California company has attempted such landings on the open sea, but never on a platform like this.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk predicts a 50-50 chance of success at best. He says flying back boosters would allow them to be reused and save money.

NASA's previous delivery attempt by Orbital Sciences ended in a launch explosion in October. Researchers who lost experiments in the accident hustled to get replacements on this flight.

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