SpaceX readies for first relaunch of 'flight-proven' Falcon 9

SpaceX Falcon-9 passed through static fire test before planned as one of the key phases of prepares before Thursday launch from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center.

The Falcon 9 first stage set to launch Thursday was the first rocket ever to ace a drone ship landing.

According to the latest weather forecast from the United States Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is an 70% percent chance overall of acceptable weather conditions for Thursday's launch.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk plans to dramatically cut down the costs of launching rockets by reusing the first stage. "Targeting Thursday, March 30 for Falcon 9 launch of SES-10", SpaceX representatives wrote on Twitter today.

The Luxembourg-based company SES will use SES-10 to provide broadcasting services across Latin America. SES was an early supporter of SpaceX, the rocket builder's first commercial customer and the first to sign up for a ride on a "flight proven" booster.

SpaceX does not refer to the Falcon 9 boosters for its uncrewed missions as "used", but prefers to call them "flight-proven".

The first stage of the Falcon rocket being tested today launched an ISS resupply mission almost a year ago. Five of those landed on off-shore drone ships while three returned to landings at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was then refurbished, tested again and prepared for its second launch. "We believe reusable rockets will open up a new era of spaceflight, and make access to space more efficient in terms of cost and manifest management", Martin Halliwell, Chief Technology Officer at SES said. This is the second time this booster has test fired its engines on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral.

  • Carolyn Briggs