Today, Friday, April 18, 2014, SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida to bring supplies via the Dragaon capsule to the International Space Station and you can watch the launch live!
Some of the supplies the rocket will be bringing include materials for astronauts to cultivate a garden. By using LED lights, astronauts can grow seeds for food. Furthermore, tending to a garden can give astronauts some much-needed relaxation.
The ISS will also be receiving some high-definition cameras for purposes of taking pictures of Earth. The astronauts will test to see which camera is best.
Finally, the last piece of equipment delivered will be the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science system. The ISS and Earth are going to start using laser frequencies to communicate with each other, rather than radio frequencies. Using laser frequencies is a power-saving technique, as lasers have shorter wavelengths than radio waves.
After dropping off the payload to the ISS, scientists are going to be testing the Falcon 9’s descent back to Earth. They want to see if the rocket can land safely as SpaceX has been exploring the idea of reusable rockets. This test will observe if the rocket’s legs will deploy properly but it won’t be landing this time around. The rocket will actually be touching down in the Atlantic Ocean.
Barring any setbacks or complications, you can watch the Falcon 9 rocket launch live in the player below. The launch is secheduled to occur at 3:25 PM ET/ 12:25 PT.