SpaceX relaunches landed rocket booster

USA space firm SpaceX made history on Thursday as it launched an already-used Falcon 9 rocket back into space for the first time and then landed its first stage on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX has successfully re-launched one of its Falcon 9 rockets, marking the first time an organisation has been able to send an orbital-class booster into flight after recovering it from a previous launch.

SpaceX said its reusable Falcon 9 boosters cut the cost by about 30 percent.

Thursday's Falcon 9 launch was used the put a communications satellite in order, for Luxembourg-based satellite-operator SES SA.

The rocket carried a satellite for communications provider SES into geosynchronous orbit, before landing on a drone ship called "Of Course I love You".

"It's an wonderful day for space as a whole, for the space industry", Musk said during a live broadcast of the launch. "We're looking to land and relaunch on the same day".

Reusing a rocket booster could save customers about 30% on a $62-million Falcon 9 rocket launch, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's COO, has said.

- SpaceX's first "flight-proven" booster to be launched and recovered for a second time will not leave Florida's coast again, on another spaceflight or otherwise.

"My mind's blown", SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said, describing the accomplishment as a "milestone in the history of space". The company first accomplished that feat in December 2015 when it landed its intact booster at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The company is now working on a final iteration of the Falcon 9, which is due to fly its first mission later this year. "The first reflight of an orbital class booster did its mission perfectly, dropped off the second stage, came back and landed on the droneship, right in the bullseye".

SpaceX has successfully launched a satellite with its first recycled rocket. "Obviously to fly this there was some interest and there was some incentive to do so", said Martin Halliwell of SES in a press conference held before the launch. SpaceX needs to spend time refurbishing and inspecting the machine before testing it thoroughly. This means that they are practically disposed once they have been launched into space. This ended up costing tens of millions of dollars to do.

The Atlantic Ocean landing took place about eight minutes after takeoff. He said this feat could also be achieved by the end of the year.

  • Zachary Reyes