In historic leap, SpaceX launches its first recycled rocket
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 06, 2017,
Apr 06, 2017, 8:09
Thursday's Falcon 9 launch was used the put a communications satellite in order, for Luxembourg-based satellite-operator SES SA.
"We just had an incredible day today", SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said during a live webcast of the launch.
SpaceX added its most meaningful chapter to space-exploration history thus far Thursday, successfully launching a satellite at dusk on a preflown rocket booster that was recovered along with the nose cone, or fairing, shortly after the Florida launch. Musk also said that this will be a massive achievement in spaceflight.
The SES-10 mission marked an historic milestone as SpaceX seeks to prove that a rapid reusability of an orbital class rocket is possible.
The Falcon 9 rocket is due to carry the SES-10 satellite in to orbit before the rocket comes back down to Earth.
Much of the expense of space travel lies in building engines, capsules and other equipment that are typically used once and then discarded.
The reused rocket first took off and landed successfully on an unmanned drone ship bobbing in the Atlantic back in April 2016.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk called it "an fantastic day" for space and the space industry.
Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin has landed its suborbital New Shepard rocket five times after five launches, and it plans to make its not-yet-built heavy lift rockets reusable in the future as well.
However, SpaceX is not the first company to launch a booster to space multiple times.
SpaceX is not the only company that is attempting to reduce the astronomic costs of flying into outer space. This successful rocket launch marks the first time an orbital rocket has gone to space for the second time around. It's not just about the savings, said chief technology officer Martin Halliwell. The primary goal was to deliver a communications satellite into geosynchronous orbit for the company that commissioned this launch, SES. When its space shuttle program was still in operation, the booster rockets broke away from a shuttle two minutes after launch and parachuted into the Atlantic Ocean. That would be a saving of millions of dollars, considering a ride on a regular Falcon 9 costs $62 million dollars.