Used rocket available for cargo delivery, low mileage, call SpaceX
- Author: Joey Payne Apr 02, 2017,
Apr 02, 2017, 0:24
The company's Falcon 9 rocket, recovered at sea from its maiden flight previous year, on Thursday blasted off from the U.S. state of Florida, in the first successful launch of a recycled orbital-class booster. In fact, he is going to use multiple times the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket that was recycled from a previous flight.
Previously, Falcon 9's first stage previously launched successfully the CRS-8 mission in April 2016.
And Thursday night SpaceX had that rocket ready to go back into space.
The American aerospace company's success marks an important step towards making space travel cheaper.
The cost of rocket fuel is less than 1 percent of the total cost of a launch, meaning if boosters can be refueled rather than discarded, the cost of launches could decrease dramatically.
SpaceX is working to develop reusable rockets to reduce launch costs.
"We just had an incredible day today", he said, calling it a victory for the company and for the space industry.
"That was the cherry on the cake", Musk, who serves as chief executive and lead designer of Space Exploration Technologies, told reporters after launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
They estimate that with only refueling and a quick inspection between launches, a Falcon 9 could be flown about 10 times.
However, he dismissed "naysayers" this week and stressed the historic nature of the launch on what he has described as a "flight-proven" rocket.
Musk said his next goal is to turn the booster around for relaunch in 24 hours; a feat he said could be accomplished before the end of the year.
"It's its own little spacecraft", Musk said.
Falcon Heavy will have a max cargo capacity of 119,000 lbs in terms of what it can carry to orbit, which is double the payload capacity of the current leader in operational launch craft, the Delta IV Heavy from ULA.