SpaceX Reusable Rocket Completes Second Space Flight and Landing

"It's taken us a long time, a lot of hard steps along with way, but I am just incredibly proud of the SpaceX team for being able to achieve this incredible milestone in the history of space".

Thursday's Falcon 9 launch was used the put a communications satellite in order, for Luxembourg-based satellite-operator SES SA.

SpaceX initially launched the Falcon 9 rocket 11 months ago, and its reuse marks a major milestone for the space travel industry as a whole.

This successful SpaceX mission is a critical one for the company, who, since 2011, has been working hard to make its rocket partially reusable. The Falcon 9 is already the most affordable orbit-capable rocket system in the world, but such a discount would save companies more than $18 million per launch.

"It means you can fly and refly an orbit class booster, which is the most expensive part of the rocket". That would be a saving of millions of dollars, considering a ride on a regular Falcon 9 costs $62 million dollars.

It then securely landed on a barge stationed out in the Atlantic. "This is going to be ultimately a huge revolution in space flight".

"We had access to information that gave us confidence", he said, adding he was "hugely excited" that SpaceX was opening "the door to a whole new era of spaceflight".

It also marked the first time a single rocket booster had ever been launched - and landed - twice. "It's been 15 years to get to this point". "Obviously to fly this there was some interest and there was some incentive to do so", said Martin Halliwell of SES in a press conference held before the launch. The company's long-term goal under founder Musk is to fly people to and from Mars.

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

In February, the firm announced plans to fly two private citizens around the Moon next year, in the first manned U.S. mission since the 1970s.

"We just had an incredible day today", Musk said.

On Thursday, the rocket's second-stage, which is notrecovered, continued firing to carry SES-10 into an initial egg-shaped orbit high above Earth, which it will providetelevision and other communications services to Latin America.

  • Anthony Vega