SpaceX Launches Its Reusable Rocket

SpaceX Launches Its Reusable Rocket

Remote sound-triggered cameras around launch pad 39A captured stunning views of Thursday evening's launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on the first reflight of an orbital-class booster.

Space-X had some spectaculars failures, but a 50-meter section of this booster rocket went into space past year, and then successfully landed on a platform at sea so it could fly again. SpaceX inspected and refurbished the first stage for reuse, breaking the normal paradigm of rocket launches in which spent boosters are jettisoned and disposed in the ocean.

CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk celebrated yesterday as this is a step towards greatly reducing the cost of rockets. This is the first time a company uses a recycled booster, which is the most expensive piece of a rocket. "This is going to be, ultimately, a huge revolution in spaceflight", he said. "It's like its own little spacecraft".

SpaceX has been trying to bring its rockets back to the Earth for a few years with the probability of success standing at 8 out of 13; so, odds are fairly in his Mr Musk's favour.

After more than two years of landing its rockets after launch, SpaceX finally sent one of its used Falcon 9s back into space.

"Falcon Heavy will be able to carry heavy payloads for customers like the Pentagon, but it's also important for the long-term goal of pushing further into the solar system", said Phil Larson, a space policy adviser to Barack Obama who worked for SpaceX and is now at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Plans to reuse the Falcon 9 second stage booster have been abandoned as the weight of a heat shield and other equipment would impinge on payload too much for this to be economically feasible.

NASA also has shared the quest for rocket reusability. Industry estimates suggest that reusing the first stage of the Falcon 9 booster might lead to a 30% reduction in the launch costs.

Musk also hopes to get the launch and relaunch turnaround down to 24 hours. Combined with the nose cone, that's about 84 percent in savings of the original costs of the launch (fuel costs notwithstanding). To prove this, he revealed that the very first Dragon flight was literally cheesy.

SES confirmed that the launch had successfully deployed its satellite, and congratulated SpaceX on sticking the landing of the rocket.

On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave an inspiring speech at Rice University, my alma mater, where he said, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade. not because (it is) easy, but because (it is) hard".

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