SpaceX launch of SES-10 satellite and 1st reuse of rocket
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 20:24
With each Falcon 9 launch carrying a $61 million price tag, the reused rockets are expected to decrease expenses by about 30 percent, according to Agence French-Presse. After the first and second stages of the Falcon 9 rocket separate, SpaceX will then attempt to land the first-stage booster on a drone ship.
"It shows you can fly and refly an orbit-class booster, which is the most expensive part of the rocket", Musk said on a SpaceX webcast.
In a first, SpaceX is set to launch a commercial communications satellite using a first-stage rocket booster that previously flew last year.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said it had been "a huge day", and reiterated the firm's aim to reuse a rocket within 24 hours.
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 recovery of the Falcon 9 means that not only did SpaceX reuse its rocket with this launch - it can also potentially use it again, after more stress testing and evaluation.
Until now, orbital rockets could only be launched into orbit once. The company chose to use this booster instead of the first Falcon 9 the company landed in December 2015 because Musk deemed it "special".
On their website, SpaceX explains: "The majority of the launch cost comes from building the rocket, which flies only once". This marks the first time that a rocket has been re-used after being launched into space.
A previously used rocket has been successfully launched and retrieved for the first time ever.
Once in position, the satellite will provide telecommunications services to Latin America. "I think the whole industry is looking".
The satellite was launched into an initial elliptical orbit ranging 135 miles to 22,002 miles above the Earth's surface.
In addition to commercial customers, many of which are satellite companies, SpaceX launches rockets for USA government clients, including NASA.
It was previously used on a mission in April previous year and refurbished and tested on its return, still sporting its nine original engines.