dglobalnews.com Recycled rocket hailed as new era for space travel
Published: Tue, April 04, 2017
Markets | By Armando Jensen

Recycled rocket hailed as new era for space travel

Recycled rocket hailed as new era for space travel

Composed of a single Merlin engine-a vacuum-rated version of the nine engines used on the Falcon 9 first stage-the second stage of the rocket delivers the payload to orbit after the main engines cut off. Pulling off such a recovery would be hard, but would close the company's much desired loop of reusability by bringing back the first stage, the payload fairing, and the second stage of a launch vehicle.

While the company has already proved that it cannot only land the first stage, or booster, of Falcon 9 but can also reuse it, there is much more cost savings involved if it can manage to bring back the Falcon 9 Heavy second stage. "This is going to be ... a huge revolution in space flight". If you would recall, it was in December 2015 that SpaceX successfully launched a satellite into orbit before coming back to Earth and landing upright on a strip of landing pad in Cape Canaveral.

"It's its own little spacecraft", Musk said. This is the first step in Musk's long-term plan - which began 15 years ago - to make access to space relatively routine and much more affordable.

On Thursday, the company even managed to recover the Falcon's $6 million satellite enclosure, which used thrusters and parachutes to drop into the Atlantic. The Falcon 9 rocket then made it back to Earth yet again and landed on a drone ship in the ocean.

Musk on 1st April, today, announced on Twitter the programs for the trial flight of Falcon Heavy, which is meant to carry a high amount of payloads than the Falcon 9 rockets, which are already in use.

Given a Falcon 9 is said to cost more than $61 million to build, the financial advantages of reusing the machinery quickly start to add up.

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The relaunch testing is also a step toward achieving Musk's larger goal of inhabiting Mars.

Musk refused to tell the press what that mystery item was right after the launch, but SpaceX revealed the next day that there was a big wheel of cheese inside the Dragon - the Le Brouere variety, according to The LA Times. Currently, millions of dollars' worth of rocket parts are jettisoned after each launch.

Last month, Musk announced that two private citizens have paid a "significant deposit" to fly around the moon late next year on a mission using the Falcon Heavy.

The possibility of reusing rockets has not been proven yet.

Thus, the typical cost of a SpaceX launch of $62 million might be reduced to $43 million - a considerable contribution to the satellite company's bottom line. "We want to make sure that whoever we take can come back".

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