astroengine writes with news of SpaceX's next step in experimenting with vertical landings for rocket stages
. From the article: "Space Exploration Technologies is installing landing legs on its next Falcon 9 rocket, part of an ongoing quest to develop boosters that fly themselves back to the launch site for reuse. For the upcoming demonstration, scheduled for March 16, the Falcon 9's first stage will splash down, as usual, in the ocean after liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This time, however, SpaceX hopes to cushion the rocket's destructive impact into the Atlantic Ocean by restarting the Falcon 9's engine and extending landing legs that will be attached to the booster's aft section. The goal is a soft touchdown on the water."
The test is scheduled for their ISS resupply mission on March 16th
2014 (the mission also features the launch of the crowdfunded KickSat
nano nanosatellites) .