Yesterday, SpaceX, Elon Musk’s American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, won a significant victory in their efforts towards affordable space travel by launching their first ever recycled rocket.
A huge benchmark in reducing space flight costs and perhaps even one day enabling people to live on other planets, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Thursday. It was a flight many had thought to be impossible.
The rocket, which was launched into space and back again, deposited a communications satellite from Luxembourg's SES SA into orbit and received epic cheers when it landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Like a boss.
As much of a spaceship’s equipment is typically discarded after one use, Musk and Amazon Inc. founder Jeff Bezos have been leading the pack of those championing rocket reusability. The Falcon 9, which took roughly four months to rebuild and refurbish, was a huge win for Musk, one that was 15 years in the making. It marks a significant step forward in his end game of one day colonizing Mars. “This is going to be, ultimately, a huge revolution in spaceflight,” Musk, said.
Having launched four rockets this year already, SpaceX intends to fly 20 to 24 missions by the end of 2017. If that wasn’t enough, Musk even plans to launch two private citizens, who paid “significant deposits,” on a recreational trip around the moon in late 2018.