SpaceX Jason-3 Mission Patch. Launched Sunday January 17, 2016 at 10:42am from Vandenbers Air Force Base aboard a Falcon9 V1.1 rocket. The purpose of the Jason-3 is to explore and understand the changing sea levels, tides and also to help in forecasting hurricanes and El Niño and La Niña events. The first stage of the rocket was set to attempt a landing on a barge floating off the California coast. The booster reached the barge successfully but broke apart when one of the 4 supporting legs broke off.