SpaceX landed a used Falcon 9 first-stage rocket on a water barge in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday — the world’s first flight and landing of a previously launched orbital-class rocket.
Reusing rockets over the course of multiple launches is expected to help Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne substantially reduce the cost to launch satellites, cargo, and humans into space. The company said a 30 percent price reduction to customers is possible, meaning the price to launch a full payload into orbit could fall to $42.8 million from $61.2 million.
“It’s an amazing day for space,” said Elon Musk, chief executive of SpaceX, according to Space News. “It means you can fly and re-fly an orbital-class booster.”
The reused Falcon 9 booster carried a communications satellite from SES SA of Luxembourg that aims to provide coverage to Latin America.