SpaceX launches first recycled rocket

SpaceX achieved a space industry first in December 2015 when its Falcon 9 rocket booster successfully landed upright on solid ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida, after launching 11 small satellites into orbit.

He called it "a big step for everybody - something that's never, ever been done before".

Besides becoming the first commercial cargo hauler to the International Space Station, SpaceX is building a capsule to launch NASA astronauts as soon as next year. The previous flight for the Falcon 9 rocket ended in the ocean.

The reusable main-stage booster from the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket makes a successful landing on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean about 185 miles (300 km) off the coast of Florida April 8, 2016 in this handout photo provided by SpaceX.

In addition to this, SpaceX recovered the Falcon 9's $6 million nose cone for the first time as well. At a news conference, Musk personally thanked Halliwell for having faith in SpaceX.

"Falcon 9 first stage has landed on Of Course I Still Love You - world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket", the company tweeted.

SpaceX refurbished the 15-foot booster and tested its nine original engines.

Musk has high expectations for SpaceX and what it will do for the rest of 2017 and beyond.

"The final vehicle design spin that we are doing on Falcon 9, that we will be flying later this year, that should be capable of up to 10 or even more (launches)", she said. The company's long-term goal under founder Musk is to fly people to and from Mars. He believes it will be possible with a quick turnaround and re-use of boosters, which are typically discarded after a single use.

"The potential is there for [an] over 100-fold reduction in the cost of access to space", he said. But more importantly, it'll gain the company a lot more customers - Musk said that many firms were waiting for the outcome of the launch before agreeing to fly on a recycled rocket.

The cost of rebuilding the first stage of a rocket can hit the millions of dollars mark. These flights, however, did not put anything into orbit. A year ago, the booster had landed on the ocean platform after a space station launch for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  • Zachary Reyes