Over the past two years, SpaceX has successfully recovered eight of their rockets after they were used to launch payloads into space. Of these, one is permanently on display outside SpaceX headquarters, while the other seven will theoretically be used for additional launches in the future. According to Bloomberg, at least one of those launches is no longer theoretical, and is scheduled for sometime this month.
At an industry conference in DC this week, SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell announced that the first flight of a used Falcon 9 booster is scheduled for sometime in the next few weeks. The rocket will fly a satellite manufactured by Luxembourg-based communications company SES. The SES satellite, SES-10, was originally supposed to launch in the last quarter of 2016, but SpaceX delayed all rocket launches for several months after a launchpad explosion in September of that year.
If this next launch is successful, it will pave the way for SpaceX to make affordable rocket launches a reality. The company’s goal is to reuse their boosters multiple times over to bring down the cost per launch significantly. We’ll only have to wait a few more weeks now to see if SpaceX can make that happen.
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