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article imageWe could see SpaceX land a rocket on California coast this year

By Karen Graham     Jul 6, 2018 in Science
Los Angeles - SpaceX has filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to land one of its Falcon 9 rockets on the ground at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. If the application is approved, it will be SpaceX's first landing on the West Coast.
SpaceX is making headway on its journey toward cutting the cost of spaceflight by developing reusable rockets and space vehicles. The commercial space company has also successfully perfected landings of its Falcon 9 boosters on barges in the ocean and on land.
All but four of these landings have taken place on the East Coast of the U.S. at Cape Canaveral, Florida. However, the company's other space complex is in Southern California, at Vandenberg AFB. This site is used when rockets need to be launched to fly southward to put satellites on a north-south orbit around Earth.
SpaceX has had four successful rocket booster landings on drone ships off the California Coast after launches from Vandenberg but never has attempted a landing on solid ground.
Falcon 9 and 10 @IridiumComm NEXT satellites are vertical on SLC-4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in ...
Falcon 9 and 10 @IridiumComm NEXT satellites are vertical on SLC-4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The price for a launch is $62 million.
SpaceX
In February 2015, SpaceX signed an agreement to lease the disused Space Launch Complex 4-West (SLC-4 West) launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the primary spaceport on the U.S. West Coast.
SLC-4 West was last used for Titan 2 rocket launches in 2003. The launch complex is adjacent to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch pad. There, SpaceX constructed a 300-foot diameter concrete pad to support landing the Falcon 9 first stage. However, the company has yet to receive clearance for a landing at the site.
SpaceX has been given clearance by the FAA, based on an environmental assessment review and now that SpaceX has filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission - it will be just a matter of time.
FCC license is a big step
While SpaceX must also get an FAA permit for a launch, just to ensure that the rocket won't damage any property or hurt observers, getting an FCC license is a big deal. An FCC license is required for both rocket launches and landings, and the hopefully upcoming landing.
Basically, SpaceX is requesting a license from the FCC to use certain radio frequencies to communicate with the rocket. And this will be very important in the landing of the booster on the landing pad. SpaceX has indicated the operational start date would be September 5, 2018, through an end date of March 5, 2019.
More about Spacex, FCC application, vandenberg afb, radio frequencies, transmitter
 
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