Considering that a booster is one of the most expensive parts of a multi-stage-rocket, reusing it is a great feat.
This time, the first stage will once again attempt a landing on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship that will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. While the fairing wasn't successfully recovered, it was directed to a specific location.
Musk said: "It's an incredible day for space as a whole". And proving that something can be done that many people said was impossible.
The rocket cost $62 million to build and $200,000 to fuel.
It was previously used on a mission in April previous year and refurbished and tested on its return, still sporting its nine original engines. Musk and SpaceX have made it clear that the only way to make spaceflight more affordable, and hence more ubiquitous, is to lower the costs involved in sending rockets into orbit or beyond.
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The 23-story-tall Falcon 9 rocket involved in Thursday's launch previously delivered the CRS-8 satellite into orbit last April. "The first preflight of an orbital class booster, did its mission perfectly, dropped off the second stage, came back and landed on the drone ship, right on the bullseye", Musk said in an interview live-streamed over the SpaceX website. With each Falcon 9 launch carrying a $61 million price tag, the reused rockets are expected to decrease expenses by about 30 percent, according to Agence French-Presse. The private space company's next aim is to land a rocket and have it firing on all cylinders again within the space of a day.
SpaceX has long said it would like to make its entire Falcon 9 rocket reusable. Not all the savings will be passed on to SpaceX customers, some of whom were awaiting the outcome of Thursday's flight before agreeing to fly on a used booster, Musk said.
"It's a big deal for us", Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer of SES, said in a statement. SpaceX is planning to launch up to six reused boosters by the end of the year. Previously, Blue Origin landed the New Shepherd rocket five times between November 2015 and October 2016.
Musk is now eyeing a relaunch in 24 hours.
As you may or may not know, when a rocket is launched the first stage which contains the engines, and fuel is treated like trash and discarded.