SpaceX Reuses Rocket from Historic Mission to Launch Satellite
The SpaceX rocket with potent history reignited its active career two months ago, by launching from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station around 5 PM EST on Monday, July 20, 2020.
- The rocket carried a communications satellite belonging to the South Korean military.
- The first-stage booster, the bottom part of the rocket with the nine engines that thrusted Falcon 9 into ascent, was the booster flown on SpaceX’s first mission with humans aboard.
- This rocket is the only launch vehicle with a reusable first-stage booster, as rockets typically fire up their own engines in a mission.
- On May 20, the rocket sent Crew Dragon into orbit with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley inside.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk intends to drive down the cost of launching satellites and people into outer space, exhibited in this successful development of reusable rocket technology.
- Musk said the latest version of the Falcon 9 first stage can fly up to 10 times with minimal repairs needed between launches.
- The first-stage booster fired its engines for a couple of minutes, then broke off and steered toward one of the company’s remote-controlled platforms.
Catching the fairing proves a financially valuable endeavor, allowing the parts to be reused.
Twitter user @MrCrouton80 replied:
“Elon once described the fairing halves as a ‘pallet of cash, falling through the sky...Do you just let it go, or do you try and catch it?’”
User @mark_tennessee added:
“They are actually pretty expensive. I’ve read in the $3,000,000 dollar range for a set.”