SEP 01, 2016 07:38 AM PDT

SpaceX Will Launch a Used Falcon 9 in a Space Mission for the First Time

SpaceX has been launching a special kind of Falcon 9 rockets that can land and be re-used for well over a year now, but they’ve been launching new Falcon 9 rockets each and every time.
 
Now, SpaceX wants to try reducing their stockpile of used Falcon 9 rockets by re-using one of them on a future space mission. The only trick would be finding a mission that doesn’t mind the added risk of trying something that’s never been done before.
 

A used SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sits in SpaceX's stockpile.

 
Despite the trick, it would seem that SpaceX already has a buyer. SES would like to try using one of SpaceX’s re-usable rockets that has already flown into space from a previous mission to send a geostationary communications satellite into Earth’s orbital zone.
 
“Having been the first commercial satellite operator to launch with SpaceX back in 2013, we are excited to once again be the first customer to launch on SpaceX's first ever mission using a flight-proven rocket," said SES CTO Martin Halliwell.
 
"We believe reusable rockets will open up a new era of spaceflight and make access to space more efficient in terms of cost and manifest management."
 
The whole point of SpaceX’s re-usable rocket venture is to make space travel more cost efficient. By re-using rockets instead of having to build new ones for each and every mission, SpaceX can effectively save around $15,750,000 per launch.
 
This figure comes from the cost of manufacturing a Falcon 9 rocket, which is about $16,000,000, minus the cost to fuel a Falcon 9 rocket, which is about $250,000.
 
The significant savings could prove to bolster more space missions in the future if it is proven that a used first stage is just as reliable as a new first stage. After all, all space agencies have spending caps that they have to stay within, and by significantly reducing costs, we can achieve more within that cap.
 
SES is expected to make the attempt launch some time before the end of 2016. An exact date has not yet been specified. According to Ars Technica, however, SpaceX may provide a 30% discount on its launch services to SES when they attempt the used rocket launch.

It should be very interesting to see if the used Falcon 9 first stage makes it to space and back.

Source: Ars Technica

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 10, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 10, 2018
Israel Will Soon Put An Unmanned Spacecraft on the Lunar Surface
The Moon is familiar territory to NASA and to a handful of other space agencies from around the globe, but not so much to the private sector. On the other...
JUL 29, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 29, 2018
Algae in Space: A Potential Food and Fuel Source?
During SpaceX’s recent CRS-15 launch, a mission to resupply the International Space Station with fresh supplies, the commercial space company’s...
AUG 13, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 13, 2018
Giant Star Sets Record for Lithium Composition, Researchers Say
While scanning far and wide with the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), astronomers from the National Astronomical Observa...
AUG 20, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 20, 2018
Martian Dust Storm Begins Clearing, Sparking Hope for the Opportunity Rover
Back in June, Mars became enveloped by a planet-wide dust storm. The dust from the storm blocked so much sunlight that NASA felt compelled to put its solar...
AUG 28, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 28, 2018
Mars Has Huge Mountains, But How Did it Get Them?
Mount Everest, which sports a height of approximately 29,000 feet, is the tallest mountain on Earth. But if you were to venture to Mars, you’d find s...
SEP 19, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 19, 2018
RemoveDebris Spacecraft Successfully Nets a Piece of Space Junk
Experts approximate that there’s around 7.5 metric tons’ worth of space junk swirling around our planet. Most of this junk is comprised of dead...
Loading Comments...