SpaceX hopes to make history today by launching the first ‘used’ rocket back into space.
The recycled Falcon 9 rocket was originally used last year and then safely brought back to Earth.
Today though it will hopefully be re-used, affirming SpaceX’s vision to create a rocket that can be launched into space, land itself and then be reused again.
It sounds simple enough on paper but when you realise just how mind-bogglingly hard it is to put an object into space you start to realise just how ambitious that vision is.
The conditions that a rocket experiences when it goes into orbit and then has to re-enter the atmosphere are staggering, which is why until now most rockets are considered one-use objects.
This has meant that traditionally rocket launches like these come with pretty astronomical price tags, something that Elon Musk and SpaceX are hoping to reduce, drastically. Indeed SpaceX is already offering a discount to its customer for this launch.
The rocket will be transporting a telecoms satellite into space that will provide a range of TV and telecommunications services to the Caribbean, Central and South America.
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One of the main reasons clients are so behind reusable rockets is the speed of turnaround.
There are simply too few opportunities for companies to place objects in space, leading to considerable queues. By creating rockets that can be launched, landed and turned around in a reasonable window it should greatly increase the quantity of launches and in turn reduce the price.
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