Photo Courtesy of mnn.com
Over the last few years, SpaceX has showed some impressive firsts once relegated to science fiction. The company has bypassed the cost of orbital missions, even if the exact details of those savings are somewhat disputed. After successfully landing a rocket, then successfully re-launching several rockets earlier this year, Elon Musk, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX, is hoping to set another record and successfully launch a used Dragon capsule sitting on top of a used Falcon 9, reported extremetech.com.
It’s a feat that SpaceX has been working toward for more than five years now, and it could be a watershed moment for the aerospace industry. Up until now, practically all the rockets that can reach orbit are either destroyed or go unrecovered every mission, stated theverge.com. This means that a new rocket, which can costs hundreds of millions of dollars to make, has to be rebuilt each launch.
To avoid these issues, SpaceX’s plan has been to recover its rockets after each launch rather than just throwing them away. This makes it so that the vehicles can be used again. This will also help the company save on manufacturing a new vehicle, and possibly lower the cost of each mission significantly, explained theverge.com.
Not only will this plan possibly make history, it’s also the first time NASA has approved such a mission and the fourth time SpaceX has launched with what it says is a “flight proven” booster. Three commercial missions earlier this year have reused Falcon 9 rockets, reported cnbc.com.
The SpaceX rocket launched over McGregor, Texas, where SpaceX has been testing reusable rocket technology using its prototype Falcon 9 Reusable (or F9R) vehicle. Witnesses were able to see debris following from the sky just after the explosion, stated MNN.
“During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination automatically terminated the mission,” SpaceX representatives said in a statement. “Throughout the test and subsequent flight termination, the vehicle remained in the designated flight area. There were no injuries or near injuries. An FAA representative was present at all times,” reported MNN.