There’s a lot on SpaceX’s agenda this year if the company can maintain its pace, including refinements of the Falcon 9 rocket to hasten refurbishment between flights and the debut of the long-delayed Falcon Heavy launch vehicle with two side boosters recycled from previous missions, Elon Musk said after last week’s successful liftoff of a previously-flown rocket.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, powered by a previously-flown booster, lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 6:27 p.m. EDT (2227 GMT) Thursday. The mission, which lofted the SES 10 communications satellite, marks the first time SpaceX has reused the first stage of one of its Falcon 9 launchers.
A Falcon 9 booster that flew into space last year is set to launch again Thursday from Florida’s Space Coast with an SES communications satellite on a historic mission that could make major strides in validating SpaceX’s audacious goal of recovering and reusing launchers, an achievement the company says will revolutionize the rocket business. Liftoff is set for 6:27 p.m. EDT (2227 GMT).
A Japanese communications satellite rode a Falcon 9 rocket into space from Cape Canaveral early Friday, reaching an on-target orbit as the launcher’s first stage booster nailed a high-speed landing on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean, logging another achievement for SpaceX’s cost-cutting reuse initiative.