SpaceX is planning to launch yet another Falcon 9 rocket to space on May 3rd following the successful landing of the rocket on an autonomous drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean that the commercial space company celebrated earlier this month.
The rocket will be carrying a Japanese communications satellite that will serve customers in the region and will be dropped off in the Earth’s atmosphere about 22,000 kilometers up from the ground where it can orbit the planet to do its job.
After the primary mission is completed, SpaceX will then once again attempt to land the rocket once again on the drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Conditions will be a little different this time around however. SpaceX will be coming in significantly hotter than before and with less fuel to burn, which means the landing will be trickier and there is less room for error than with the previous landing success.
By testing various fuel amounts, SpaceX can find the most cost-efficient fuel amount for blasting off and landing their reusable rockets. Too much fuel is just a waste of money, while too little means the rocket could just end up crashing down instead of landing softly.
Reusable rocket technology has cost efficiency in mind, as it costs around $16,000,000 to build a Falcon 9 rocket, and only about $250,000 to fill it with fuel in comparison. That means one rocket has the potential to be used 64 times before it actually aligns with the cost of building a new one.
Reusable rockets have the potential to change the dynamic of space travel, as well as to make long-distance space trips a reality.
We will be keeping you updated with the launch and landing attempt when the time comes.