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News Worms


SpaceX Makes History By Successfuly Flying And Landing Used Rocket

SpaceX Makes History By Successfuly Flying And Landing Used Rocket

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket recovered at sea from its maiden flight previous year blasted off again from Florida on Thursday (Mar 30) in the first successful launch of a recycled orbital-class booster, then capped the feat with another return landing on an ocean platform.

SpaceX, the private space transportation company founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk, plans to launch the SES-10 communications satellite this evening from the historic Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The booster's main section was set to attempt to land itself on a floating platform in the ocean, which would enable its recovery for a possible third mission.

Launching the used Falcon 9 rocket "was a critical milestone for SpaceX", says The Verge, adding that the company "has been working to make its rockets partially reusable since as early as 2011".

Reusing rockets is core to SpaceX's mission, which is to bring down the cost of space travel.

Shortly after launch, the "first stage" of the rocket landed on an unmanned spaceport drone ship - known as "Of Course I Still Love You".

The SES-10 will provide improved connectivity across Latin America and will be one of the biggest satellites servicing the region.

"We just had an incredible day today", SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said during a live webcast of the launch. Now, the question becomes how many times a rocket can be used before it has to be retired.

Speaking soon after the rocket touched down, Musk said it "did its mission perfectly" before landing "right on the bullseye" of the barge. Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin, for example, has re-flown rockets at not-quite-outer-space altitude for testing purposes.

There's a backup launch window on April 1, according to SpaceX, in case the flight needs to be postponed due to bad weather or issues with the rocket. As Musk has noted, the New Shepard went out into "space" whereas the Falcon 9 delivers payloads into "orbit", which requires 100 times the energy.

"This is a really, really exciting step forward", Martin Halliwell, SES' chief technology officer, said before launch.

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