SpaceX successfully launched a reused Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a major milestone in rocket reusability.
Falcon 9’s first stage for the SES-10 mission previously supported the successful CRS-8 mission in April 2016. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver the SES-10, a commercial communications satellite for SES, to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). SES provides reliable and secure satellite communications solutions across the globe.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the next goal is reflight within 24 hours. Reused rockets are part of the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy program and on Friday, Musk tweeted they are looking into bringing the upper stage back on the Falcon Heavy demo flight for full reusability. “Odds of success low, but maybe worth a shot,” he said.
The Falcon Heavy launch will occur in late summer.
Falcon Heavy, which features a composite fairing, is designed to lift into orbit over 54 metric tons (119,000 lb)–a mass equivalent to a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel. Last month, Musk announced that two private citizens paid a “significant deposit” to fly around the moon late next year using the Falcon Heavy.
Below is the webcast replay of the SES-10 launch: