Following years of development by Elon Musk’s SpaceX firm, the first recycled rocket in history landed in on a platform in the Atlantic on March 30, 2017. This Falcon 9 rocket successfully delivered a satellite into low earth orbit then returned to earth intact, marking the first successful return of a used rocket from space in history. Just less than one year ago in April 2016, this Falcon 9 rocket successfully returned from space. Because rockets capable of reaching space often cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build, the Falcon 9 program promises to significantly reduce costs for space programs around the world. Additionally, these savings can be passed along to satellite companies and other SpaceX customers, potentially saving them millions of dollars.
This breakthrough for Elon Musk’s company comes after a 15-year development cycle that faced some of the most difficult hurdles in the history of rocket science. On this landing, the rocket booster from the Falcon 9 was also recovered intact, which according to Musk is the most expensive part of the rocket. SpaceX hopes this breakthrough will cut its costs by over 30%, helping the company meet its mission of making space travel more affordable. According to SpaceX, the rockets can be launched 10 times without needing any repairs, and an additional 100 with only minor fixes required. Musk hopes that, as these technological advances are compounded, SpaceX can reduce the cost of spaceflight by more than 90%.
Musk says his next major goal is to recover a rocket then launch it again within 24 hours, and hopes to accomplish this goal sometime this year. The SpaceX CEO is also working to develop a passenger spaceship, which he hopes will offer service to the moon. SpaceX is also hoping to establish permanent colonies on Mars, and to engineer a spaceship capable of ferrying passengers between the two planets.
Space X, the company owned by visionary Elon Musk, has finally sent one of the used Falcon 9s back to space. This was after more than two years of landing the rocket after launch. Space X has earned a positive reputation particularly for this particular rocket launch; communication satellite was sent into orbit by the rocket, the rocket which was launched from Cape Canevearal, later on landed on the company’s drone ship that was voyaging over the Atlantic Ocean.
Space X CEO Elon Musk did not hide his joy for this accomplishment; he appeared on the company’s live streaming moments after landing and spoke about the achievement. He said that this was a major accomplishment in spaceflight which proved that it is possible to re-fry an orbital class booster which is the most expensive part of the rocket.
Reusing the rocket has been the primary objective of Space X since 2011. Before this launch, all orbital rockets had been expendable since they were being discarded into space. This technique requires a completely new rocket for the upcoming rockets launch which means that millions of dollars would be spent for each rocket launch. The strategy that has been adopted by Space X is towards relying on its used rockets again and again. Through, the company can moderately save on the manufacturing cost for each mission.
The recent launch was the 13th attempt of these rocket landings, and eight vehicles had successfully launched to space again. However, Space X was yet to reuse one of the stockpile of the recovered rockets for the last two years. With this particular launch, Space X has proven that it is possible to reuse one of these vehicles.
Space X confirmed that part of the used Falcon 9 could successfully launch to space again. The fact that the vehicle returned to Earth in one piece means that it can be launched once again for the third time. The primary objective of reusing rockets is that Space X wants to gain from the economic benefits of the reusable rocket and the best method of doing this is to launch these vehicles as frequently as possible.