Space X successfully launches second-hand Falcon 9
- Author: Eleanor Harrison Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 0:53
SpaceX launched the recycled Falcon 9 rocket on March 30 from the Kennedy Space Center.
The main segment of its Falcon 9 rocket was previously used on a mission in 2016. SpaceX said its reusable Falcon 9 boosters cut the cost by about 30 percent.
Price alone was not the reason SES, with a fleet of 65 satellites, made a decision to fly on a used rocket, he said.
"This is going to be ultimately a huge revolution in spaceflight", Musk said immediately after the booster's second successful landing.
To cap it all off, the booster detached itself from the rest of the rocket during the launch, and successfully touched down on a sea-based landing pad - meaning it could, in theory, be repurposed once again, although this particular booster will be donated to the Cape Canaveral Spaceport for display, seeing as it's history-making and all that.
The "stage one" orbital booster, previously used on a mission 11 months ago, helped send a telecommunications satellite into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida before successfully landing again.
SpaceX has now landed, as well as launched, Falcon 9 first stages nine times.
"It's an incredible day for space as a whole, for the space industry".
But Musk said his company has so far spent about $1 billion to develop reusability for the launch booster, the most expensive part of the rocket.
Evidently, one of the primary benefits to reusing rockets is the cost savings. The company is now working on a final iteration of the Falcon 9, which is due to fly its first mission later this year. "It's been 15 years to get to this point", Musk said. "It's taken us a long time", Musk said.
"It's a big deal for us", Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer of SES, said in a statement.
SES confirmed that the launch had successfully deployed its satellite, and congratulated SpaceX on sticking the landing of the rocket.
On Thursday, the rocket's second-stage, which is notrecovered, continued firing to carry SES-10 into an initial egg-shaped orbit high above Earth, which it will providetelevision and other communications services to Latin America.
"We made a little bit of history today, actually".