It seems like every week there is some new event taking place in commercial space exploration. For the first time SpaceX reused a rocket that it had previously flown a year ago. And to make it even more of a spectacular event they went ahead and landed the booster safely on a floating ocean platform.
The unprecedented twin achievements of re-launching a used rocket and salvaging the vehicle yet again were hailed by billionaire SpaceX founder Elon Musk as a revolutionary step in his quest to slash launch costs and shorten intervals between space shots.
“This is a huge day,” Musk told reporters after the launch. “My mind’s blown.”
“The potential is there for (an) over 100-fold reduction in the cost of access to space. If we can achieve that, it means humanity can become a space-faring civilization and be out there among the stars. This is what we want for the future,” he said. – Reuters
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center at 6:27 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and placed a communications satellite into orbit for a Luxembourg based company. SpaceX hopes to see about a 30% cost savings by reusing rocket boosters.
Featured image of a reused SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket heading to space flying above a Virgin Airlines passenger jet, which had just departed Orlando International Airport, in Orlando, Florida, March 30, 2017 by Gregg Newton/Reuters/SpaceX