SpaceX Gears Up For Historic Launch Of Reused Rocket

29 March, 2017, 01:50 | Author: Archie Newman

Thursday evening (March 30th), SpaceX will attempt to make history once more with the first launch of a reusable rocket.

SES this week hopes to see its SES-10 communications satellite become the first payload delivered to orbit by a rocket booster that has already completed an orbital launch.

"Having been the first commercial satellite operator to launch with SpaceX back in 2013, we are excited to once again be the first customer to launch on SpaceX's first ever mission using a flight-proven rocket".

The short static firing, or "hot-fire" test, is a routine pre-flight procedure for SpaceX to help engineers verify the rocket is ready for launch. Up until now, practically all rockets that can achieve orbit are either destroyed or go unrecovered after each mission.

Some Falcon 9 first stages landed near launch sites, but rockets carrying payloads to distant orbits typically do not contain enough fuel to go all the way back to terra firma, hence landing on autonomous drone ships at sea. Parts of the Space Shuttle boosters were refurbishable, but no company has pulled off the "rapid reusability" that SpaceX is targeting to lower launch costs, said Larson, the former Obama adviser. The price difference was "hundredths of a percent", Halliwell said.

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Mission planned for Thursday, 30th March starts with opening launch window at 22:00 UTC.

The cost of a Falcon 9 launch is roughly $62 million, according to SpaceX's website, with modest discounts available for contractually committed, multilaunch purchases. It landed successfully on an unmanned drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Los Angeles area rocket and spacecraft developer SpaceX is gearing up for what might be a historic first launch of a reused rocket stage, as it gets set to launch the SES-10 satellite into space. While that's still expensive (for perspective, you could buy about 20 Veyrons with that kind of cash), a savings of $20 million per launch is kind of like getting a "Launch 2, Get 1 Free" deal. About 10 minutes or so after each launch, the first stage separates from the top portion of the rocket and makes a controlled dive back to Earth. Thanks to Elon Musk-owned SpaceX, we are about to witness a historical event this Thursday. SES is entrusting SpaceX with the launch of the SES-10 communications satellite.

Elon musk said earlier that the cost of space-faring will be reduced by a factor of a hundred, and if SpaceX manages to relaunch its rocket, the humanity may enter a new golden age of space exploration.

"I think the odds of success are very good".

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