Updated Thursday, Jan. 8: A historic SpaceX launch originally set for Tuesday morning was delayed a minute before liftoff. The unmanned Dragon was to carry 5,000 lbs. of fresh groceries, new equipment, and even Christmas presents to the six astronauts currently on board the International Space Station (ISS).
The landing itself is the historic part. If all goes well, SpaceX will bring its Falcon 9 rocket’s main booster back to a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean. That requires a pinpoint landing.
Booster recovery has never been done before. If successful, the maneuver would significantly lower the cost of spaceflight – a key SpaceX goal.