SpaceX To Relaunch Falcon 9 Rocket On March 30th

Mar 29, 2017, 01:50

SpaceX is poised to make history this week by reflying a rocket booster that launched a payload into space a year ago before landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

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. Not only is SpaceX launching a reused rocket for the first time, but they are delivering a payload to GTO. But two days after SES officials announced their intention to fly with SpaceX on August 30, a SpaceX rocket exploded on a Florida launch pad, throwing off the company's schedule.

SpaceX has demonstrated multiple times that it's capable of landing its reusable Falcon 9 rocket back on solid ground.

The booster will lift off from pad 39A with the same nine main engines that fired for more than two minutes last April to help send International Space Station supplies to low Earth orbit for NASA. SpaceX has been testing the recovered stages to see if they are capable of spaceflight again and to figure out how much repairs and refurbishment are needed to make them fly again.

"We have been through this (rocket) with a fine-toothed comb", he said. Technicians will have to examine the results from the tests before giving a final all-clear, but the launch window opens at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) Thursday and extends for two-and-a-half hours.

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Video Caption: SpaceX Falcon 9 hot fire test on March 27, 2017 for SES-10 launch on March 30 on KSC Pad 39A. It landed successfully on an unmanned drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. With the static fire test completed, the satellite is being loaded on to the rocket as the final preparations are underway for the launch. It has launched performed landings on a barge at sea multiple times.

The Luxembourg-based company SES will use SES-10 to provide broadcasting services across Latin America.

"Having been the first commercial satellite operator to launch with SpaceX back in 2013, we are excited to once again be the first customer to launch on SpaceX's first ever mission using a flight-proven rocket". The rocket's engines and tanks are the most expensive part of the vehicle to make, whereas refueling and refurbishing the vehicle could cost as little as a few million dollars.

SpaceX is planning to return three stages of the Falcon Heavy rocket to Earth after launching to space, according to Ostrove, and the company is also banking on reusability for its interplanetary launches in the future. Forecasters are predicting a 70 percent chance of acceptable weather.

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