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SpaceX targeting early May for Falcon 9 rocket launch

Launch set for May 3

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX is tentatively targeting its next launch from Cape Canaveral for very early on May 3, but as of Friday no launch date was officially confirmed, according to the Air Force’s 45th Space Wing.

News 6 partner Florida Today reports a Falcon 9 rocket will attempt to launch a Japanese communications satellite to orbit more than 22,000 miles above the equator.

SpaceX will again attempt to land the rocket’s first stage on a ship in the ocean, a feat it accomplished for the first time April 8.

After a week being checked out at Port Canaveral, the booster finally was transported to SpaceX’s hangar at Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39A for further inspections.

There it joined the first booster SpaceX landed on land back in December.

“By land and sea,” CEO Elon Musk said in a Twitter post with a picture of the boosters side by side.

SpaceX plans to move the first landed booster to its headquarters in Hawthorne, California, for display within a few months.

Musk has said the recently recovered booster, if it survives a battery of tests, could be launched for the second time in the same time frame.