Elon Musk has a new accomplishment to his credit, which will appeal to fans of science fiction and all those who may be hoping to put their feet on the Martian soil to begin with. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was successfully reused for the first time.
A SES geostationary satellite successfully launched into orbit
The first company to have trusted Elon Musk was the Luxembourg telecommunications firm SES. For the launch of one of its geostationary satellites, it not only called on the services of SpaceX but, in addition, it agreed to reuse the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket.
On 30 March 2017, from Cape Canaveral, the Falcon 9 rocket took off with the satellite it put into orbit. Then the first floor of the rocket landed again on a barge on the ocean, which makes it available again for a new mission.
This is a major achievement for SpaceX, since it is the first time a launcher has been reused. The one who successfully completed the SES-10 mission was the same launcher the company used to refuel the International Space Station (ISS) in April 2016 via a Dragon capsule. However, it took about a year before the launcher could be reused.
The possibility of reusing the first stage of rockets, the most expensive, opens the way to space travel and, in particular, the possibility of going to and from Mars, the red planet being Elon Musk’s next goal SpaceX, but also NASA.
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But before that, re-use should make it possible to reduce the costs of launching satellites. Although, ultimately, the reality is far from the 70% saving on Elon Musk’s initial launch cost, it would be somewhere between 10% and 30%; On launches billed close to $ 60 million, this is not negligible.
Companies will now have the choice between a new launcher and a reused launcher, which is cheaper and for which the waiting times will be reduced.