Just last month, SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida to send a satellite into space for Orbcomm, Inc., and then shortly after returned to Earth, making a safe upright landing back on the grounds of Cape Canaveral where it originally blasted off from.
After inspection, it has been revealed that the rocket’s first stage, the reusable part of the rocket, sustained no damage during the launch and landing, meaning that the rocket is completely and totally ready to be used once again.
The image below, shared by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Twitter this month, shows the used reusable rocket laying on its side in a hangar at the Kennedy Space Center.
The next steps will be testing the used reusable Falcon 9 rocket to make sure that despite looking good, the rocket is actually in good working order and is safe to be used once again in a future space mission. On the other hand, it’s not likely to be re-used, because SpaceX kind of wants to keep it as a souvenir for being the first reusable rocket for the company to be a success.
“We’ll do a static fire on the launch pad there, to confirm that all systems are good and that we’re able to do a full-thrust hold-down firing of the rocket,” SpaceX’s Elon Musk said in a statement. “We’ll probably keep this one on the ground, because it’s kind of unique. It’s the first one that we’ve brought back. We’ll confirm through tests that it could fly again.”
What this means is that yet another reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 reusable rocket will be created and used for future missions. As pointed out last month, it costs SpaceX about $16,000,000 to build a reusable rocket and it costs about $200,000 to refuel one, showing that the costs to make a rocket and refuel it are well worth the investment rather than building a new rocket over and over for each mission.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 reusable rocket mission last month was the first of SpaceX to send a reusable rocket into space, and it’s the second time a reusable rocket was sent into space just after Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket made it back to Earth after a launch.
In case you missed it, you can watch the successful landing below:
Source: Space News