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Elon Musk's SpaceX wants to try recycling more of Falcon 9 rocket

Elon Musk's SpaceX wants to try recycling more of Falcon 9 rocket”

It's an import step for NASA as well, as it turns to private contractors to take payloads into space and to the worldwide space station.

Elon Musk-led SpaceX made history by successfully re-flying one of used Falcon 9 rockets from Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Thursday. SpaceX stands at the precipice of greatness with its latest achievement, but it would need to repeat this feat several times before experts stop holding their breath.

"It is an unbelievable day, I think, for space (and) as whole for the space industry", Musk said in a video message after the launch. He has written numerous books including "The Large Hadron Collider: The Extraordinary Story of the Higgs Boson and Other Things That Will Blow Your Mind", and produces a series of science education videos. "That really is the fundamental breakthrough needed to revolutionise access to space", Mr Musk said on the company's website. It reaches a higher altitude than the first-stage launch and may have to use a combination of the engines and a few parachutes to land back to Earth.

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Aside from making the general concept of spaceflight a lot more affordable now, the Falcon 9 rockets of SpaceX also have an effect on the potential for commercial space travel.

"This is huge day". "It's like its own little spacecraft". "The thrusters maintain its orientation as it re-enters and then. the parachute steers it to a particular location". "Odds of success low, but maybe worth a shot", Musk wrote Friday on Twitter.

But after the first stage completed its work and descended to a landing on an ocean platform, Elon Musk said he was rendered almost speechless.

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Perhaps more important to Musk's visionary reputation, the same techniques will likely make portions of the planned Falcon Heavy rocket recoverable, increasing the feasibility of Musk's planned colonization of Mars. Composed of a single Merlin engine-a vacuum-rated version of the nine engines used on the Falcon 9 first stage-the second stage of the rocket delivers the payload to orbit after the main engines cut off. Pulling off such a recovery would be hard, but would close the company's much desired loop of reusability by bringing back the first stage, the payload fairing, and the second stage of a launch vehicle. This fairing alone cost $6 million, so recovering this saves a good percentage of a $60 million launch. Reusing the first stage booster saves about $46.5 million.

He added that his team were also working on recovering the second "booster" stage, which now burns up in the atmosphere.

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