Date set for SpaceX's first reusable rocket launch


This evening, almost a full year after it first launched a payload into orbit, a Falcon 9 booster will attempt a second launch.

The CEO of SpaceX declared that, in the event of reusing a rocket booster on a Falcon 9 rocket launch, customers who have only launched satellites and space station supplies could get a discount of approximately 30 percent. Then it will attempt to land again.

The launch is a big step for SpaceX. Blue Origin has conducted several tests of its reusable suborbital rocket New Shepard and Virgin Galactic's suborbital SpaceShipTwo also is reusable. The first rocket that made it back hold's a special place in Mr. Musk's heart and is on display at SpaceX's headquarters. Four months later, after a couple more fails, Musk's space startup stuck the landing on an autonomous drone ship out at sea. "Rockets that can be flown, recovered and relaunched again help enormously". It's time to relaunch one. If successful it will mark the first time a reusable rocket has been sent into space. At present although the cost of a new airliner is about the same as a Falcon 9 rocket, a commercial airliner can be used for tens of thousands of flights over its lifetime, whereas a traditional space-faring rocket is used just the once.

SpaceX designed the Falcon 9 rockets to be reusable, and most of the money spent on the multimillion rockets goes to the first-stage booster.

The common thinking is that reusing rockets, rather than discarding them after every launch as we do now, could revolutionize spaceflight and significantly drive down costs.

SES has three more launches pending with SpaceX, two of which could fly on used boosters. Significantly improves performance & ease of reusability.

Following stage separation, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will attempt a historic landing of a reused rocket on Of Course I Still Love You. This percentage is a big deal, since the costs of the launch are about $62 million. The rocket will be carrying the SES-10 satellite into orbit and after delivering the SES-10 it will come back to Earth. SES says SES-10 will also have "the ability to support off-shore oil and gas exploration". Satellites bound for low-Earth orbit do not typically require as much launch power and the booster has enough propellant left over to fly back to a powered touchdown on land.

Space X static test-fire of the SES-10 Falcon 9 completed successfully, it wrote in a Twitter post.

Blue Origin is working on the New Glenn rocket, a large launch system that has already signed its first customer, Eutelsat Communications SA. While this won't be the first used rocket to ever go into space - Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin launched a used one into space past year - if all goes according to plan, this one will be the first used rocket to ever take on an orbital mission.