Last May, SpaceX nailed a first stage landing after launching JCSAT-14 into GTO.
Meanwhile, United Launch Alliance continues to troubleshoot a hydraulic issue on an Atlas V rocket's main engine, an issue that has delayed its planned launch of an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft to the International Space Station. Engineers will review data from the launch rehearsal before convening a launch readiness review later this week to formally clear the rocket for liftoff.
"This is potentially revolutionary", said John Logsdon, a space policy expert, and historian at George Washington University's Space Policy Institute.
In truth, only part of the Falcon 9 is being reused on this upcoming mission.
SpaceX, founded by billionaire and CEO Elon Musk, inked a deal in August 2016 with telecommunications giant SES, to refly a "Flight-Proven" Falcon 9 booster. "But the first stage has the biggest and the most expensive engines". Assuming the rocket doesn't become a museum piece after that, maybe we'll see it fly again. This process is better known under the name of supersonic retro propulsion. You're using the same systems you would use for launch. The company has successfully landed boosters eight times, but one can not be reflown - SpaceX declined to say why - and another is on display outside the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
The Falcon 9 flying this week is one of up to six previously flown rockets in SpaceX's fleet.
There are some caveats to what exactly SpaceX is doing in terms of "firsts". The company is planning to lease and possibly build additional facilities for rocket refurbishing that could dive that cost down even further.
This is SpaceX's first opportunity to prove that its rockets can really be reused as the Falcon 9 rocket set for blastoff was recovered from a mission about a year ago. That one was deemed special by CEO Elon Musk and is now on display at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California. SpaceX's latest customer is Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES. The upper-stage rocket will fire SES-10 and take the satellite into an orbit 22,200 miles (35,700 kilometers) above Earth. On this path, the satellite follows the Earth's rotation, allowing it to continuously hover over the same patch of the planet at all times.
A short week for McIlroy on long road to Masters
Johnson, the No. 1 seed, was 4 up with four to play against Martin Kaymer and almost drove the green with a 380-yard drive. The wind had nothing to do with a domino-effect of withdrawals that allowed Kjeldsen and Noren to get a day of rest today.
The payload is the SES-10 communications satellite. The company made its first attempt to guide a first stage back to an upright ocean splashdown in 2014. Thanks to Elon Musk-owned SpaceX, we are about to witness a historical event this Thursday.
Not only is this Falcon 9 rocket launching for a second time, but it's landing again, too.
Your goal? Land SpaceX's booster on a drone ship without blowing it up. You can watch it live on the SpaceX streaming channel and NASA TV. That rocket company, started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has also recently mastered reusable rocketry.
Now, for full disclosure, this is technically not the very first relaunched booster rocket ever.
According to Musk, "If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred".
Brazil will also use the satellite for off-shore oil and gas exploration, SES said.
Once derided as a insane idea, rocket reusability is now seen as key to making space travel affordable.
On Monday afternoon, SpaceX successfully completed a static fire test ahead of Thursday's scheduled Falcon 9 launch.