SpaceX successfully returns Falcon 9 rocket after launching it to space
Elon Musk’s SpaceX have successfully launched a rocket to space and back, landing the craft upright on solid ground in Cape Canaveral, Florida this evening. It has been widely heralded as the biggest step towards reusable rockets so far. As of now, no one had successfully returned a rocket having sent it that deep into space.
However, they are not the only ones to have successfully returned a rocket (upright) to Earth. Jeff Bezos’ private spaceflight company Blue Origin have returned their New Shepard rocket, launched 62 miles into space. The Falcon 9 has more than doubled on that success, reaching a peak of 124 miles above Earth.
The result is a huge relief for the SpaceX team, who suffered a failed delivery to the International Space Station back in June. Should SpaceX be able to reuse their rockets going forward, the costs of regular space travel will shrink dramatically. Musk has noted that a rocket costs $16m to build, yet only $200,000 to refuel. Removing the cost of a fresh rocket build with each mission promises to transform the industry.