SpaceX chief Musk sets new bar on reusable rocket engine

SpaceX chief Musk sets new bar on reusable rocket engine
SpaceX chief Musk sets new bar on reusable rocket engine

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is pleased, but not satisfied.

California-based SpaceX achieved an unprecedented milestone Thursday night, by successfully launching a previously used portion of its Falcon 9 rocket, and then once again reclaiming it.

The rocket carried a satellite for communications provider SES into geosynchronous orbit, before landing on a drone ship called "Of Course I love You." SpaceX has been launching satellites for Luxembourg-based SES for years, and SES reportedly received a discount on the launch for being the first client to launch with a reused rocket.

The launch "shows you can fly and re-fly an orbit-class booster, which is the most expensive part of the rocket," Musk said on a SpaceX webcast during the flight. "This is ultimately a huge revolution in spaceflight."

Musk congratulated his team via Twitter after the launch, and then immediately issued another challenge: reduce turnaround time between future launches to 24 hours.

SpaceX has said reusing rockets could lower launch costs by 30 percent of the $62 million starting price the company currently charges, which is already a discount over competitors' prices.

Slashing turnaround times could be another valuable goal for the company, particularly as launch costs continue to fall.

CNBC

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