The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen at Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4 East with the Jason-3 spacecraft onboard, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in California. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is poised to launch from California Sunday to put a key climate-monitoring satellite into orbit, then turn around and attempt to land on a platform in the ocean.After years of testing, including two failed ocean landing attempts, SpaceX last month nailed a touchdown on land in Florida, a key step in founder Elon Musk's quest to develop a cheap, reusable rocket.The 1,200-pound (550 kg) Jason-3 satellite is the fourth in a series of ocean-monitoring satellites, which are now taking center stage in monitoring Earth's climate.Once in position 830 miles (1,336 km) above Earth, Jason-3 will bounce radio waves off the ocean and time how long it takes the reflected signals to return.
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