SpaceX recently made history after successfully launching a commercial satellite into space using a partly used rocket. The historic feat was achieved on Thursday, and the reused rocket booster carried communications satellite from Luxembourg-based company SES.
SpaceX rocket, called Falcon 9, was first used to send the Dragon cargo ship into space last year. The cargo ship carried food supplies for astronauts living at the International Space Station. SpaceX successfully launched the rocket, and subsequently landed the rocket upright on an ocean platform.
According to Phys.org, based on its launch goal, SpaceX was scheduled for a 6:27 PM launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, local time. An official said that weather forecast was 80 percent favorable for SpaceX to launch the reused rocket. Just like some of its previous launches, the used rocket successfully landed back on Earth.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 31, 2017
The recent mission marked a critical milestone for SpaceX. The company has been working on its reusable rocket technology since 2011, and this is the first time that the company successfully reused a rocket for a different mission.
Up until now, rocket companies are using expendable rockets. This means that every rocket can be used only once and will be thrown away after being launched into space. By reusing rockets, like what SpaceX intends to do, companies can save hundreds of millions since they do not need to build an entirely new one for each launch.
In a statement acquired by The Verge, SpaceX chief executive officer Elon Musk said, "It's been 15 years to get to this point, it's taken us a long time. A lot of difficult steps along the way, but I'm just incredibly proud of the SpaceX for being able to achieve this incredible milestone in the history of space."