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SpaceX Spent 'Less Than Half the Cost' of a Brand New Rocket in Recent Falcon 9 Relaunch

Apr 08, 2017 04:13 AM EDT
Private Spaceflight Company SpaceX Launches Cargo Capsule On Resupply Mission To Int'l Space Station
SpaceX successfully relaunch a rocket booster. According to the company officials, they saved less than half the price of a brand new rocket.
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SpaceX successfully reused a Falcon 9 rocket, but the question is how much did the company save? Elon Musk's commercial spaceflight company allegedly spent just half the cost of a brand new rocket, giving them almost 50 percent savings.

Rockets such as the Falcon 9 comes with a multi-million dollar price tag. In order to lessen the cost of space flights, Elon Musk and his company SpaceX mastered landing rockets on solid ground and on drone ships with the intent to reuse them, which they recently did.

During the launch, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said the savings are remarkable and were "substantially less than half" compared to building a new rocket. The amount of savings is expected to still increase because SpaceX did a lot of refurbishing for its first attempt to relaunch a rocket

SpaceX might have saved less than 50 percent of rocket price tag by reusing its booster, but Elon Musk wanted to exhaust all possibilities. The businessman said that in order to maximize savings, SpaceX will attempt to launch, land and relaunch a rocket in a span of 24 hours in order to "achieve a hundredfold reduction."

"Looking forward to reusability, we don't believe it really, really counts unless you can turn it around rapidly, or almost as rapidly, as you turn around an aircraft. Our challenge right now is to re-fly a rocket within 24 hours. That's when we'll really feel like we've got reusability right," Shotwell said in a statement.

Musk recently revealed another video showing the rocket landing on a SpaceX drone ship. The cameras aboard the drone ship captured the historic booster landing.

"It's been 15 years to get to this point," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. "I'm at a loss for words."

The recycled Falcon 9 launch and booster landing are historic not just for SpaceX but for the entire spaceflight industry. This is because since spaceflight started, this is the first time a rocket booster was reused.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 relaunch will change, revolutionize even, the landscape of spaceflights, and making it cheaper is just one of the benefits of recycling rockets.

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