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SpaceX To Launch Recycled Rocket

SpaceX booster arrive at Port Canaveral. Photo: SpaceX Instagram.
SpaceX booster arrive at Port Canaveral. Photo: SpaceX Instagram.

SpaceX is ready to see if a recycled rocket can be used for a second launch.

The private space company proved it can land the first stage rocket of the Flacon 9 rocket by land and by sea – now with six successes under its belt.

The next step is flying a re-used booster, or what SpaceX is calling "flight-proven." Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES says it bought a ride on the first recycled booster, launching a satellite to service parts of Latin America.

SpaceX says for that mission they’ll re-use a rocket booster that sent cargo to the International Space Station back in April. The private space company landed that booster on an unmanned drone ship at sea.

Re-usability has always been a goal of SpaceX with the hopes of lowering the cost of access to space.

“Re-launching a rocket that has already delivered spacecraft to orbit is an important milestone on the path to complete and rapid re-usability,” said Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk thanked SES for the launch purchase on Twitter.

A recovered booster was put through the paces earlier this month at SpaceX’s testing facility in Texas.

SES and SpaceX are targeting a launch of the recycled rocket later this year.

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.