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SpaceX makes history by successfully reusing a rocket in latest launch

by Brandon Russell | March 31, 2017March 31, 2017 6:30 am PDT

SpaceX on Thursday made history after successfully reusing an orbital rocket to shuttle a commercial satellite to space. The launch—and subsequent landing—is a big step toward the private company’s goal of making space travel cheaper.

The Falcon 9 rocket, which has already made a trip into orbit and back, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This is exactly the result SpaceX was hoping for when it set out to revolutionize space flight.

The official SpaceX Twitter page provided a riveting play-by-play of the flight:

“It did this mission perfectly,” said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. “It dropped off the second stage, came back and landed on the drone ship. Right in the bulls-eye.”

Over the past few years, Musk and his team have proved on numerous occasions that it’s possible to launch a rocket and land it back on Earth for potential use again. Thursday’s landing proves that it’s possibly to fly and re-fly an orbital class booster, which Musk said is the most expensive part of the rocket.

While the prospect of being able to relaunch rockets will be tantalizing for companies hoping to launch satellites into space, the Falcon 9’s reuse is a step toward one day journeying to Mars. Now, the question becomes how many times a rocket can be used before it has to be retired.

Thursday’s successful launch comes months after one of SpaceX’s rocket burst into flames on a launchpad in Florida.

The gallery above is from a previous SpaceX mission

SpaceX NyTimes

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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