Launching and recovering a rocket for the first time is a feat to be proud of. Doing it for the second time in a row, well that is seriously exceptional. SpaceX has managed the latter as it launched and then recovered its Falcon 9 rocket earlier today. Now, this particular rocket can potentially be launched for a third time after a whole lot of testing.
SpaceX has always stressed upon reusable rockets as a key factor in its operations. Indeed, the company relies on them to offer customers cheaper space flights than the rest. This particular Falcon 9 had already taken a payload to space and consequently, had been recovered using one of SpaceX’s floating barges. By recovering it for the second time, SpaceX has shown that it can use a rocket again and again in the true sense of the word. Interestingly, the same floating barge that was used to recover the rocket for the first time, was used this time around as well.
Speaking on the topic, CEO Elon Musk said:
It’s an amazing day for space as a whole, and for the space industry. You can fly and refly an orbit-class rocket, which is the most expensive component of spaceflight.
It’s been 15 years to get to this point. A lot of difficult steps along the way. I’m just incredibly proud of the SpaceX team for being able to achieve this incredible milestone.
And a lot of effort has actually gone into making this possible. Eventually, SpaceX hopes to launch the rockets on the same day as it recovers them. Now that is a tough goal if I ever heard about one. However, the Musk led space venture has shown itself able to take tough things in its stride. It will take time, but the company will probably gain that kind of capability as well.