"On Thursday, SpaceX is set to launch yet another satellite into orbit from the Florida coast — but this mission will be far from routine for the company. The Falcon 9 rocket that SpaceX is using for the launch has already flown before. Around the same time last year, it sent cargo to the International Space Station for NASA, and then came back to Earth to land upright on a floating drone ship at sea. This is the first time that SpaceX will attempt to reuse one of its rockets.
It’s a feat that SpaceX has been working toward for more than five years now, and it could be a watershed moment for the aerospace industry. Up until now, practically all rockets that can achieve orbit are either destroyed or go unrecovered after each mission. That means an entirely new rocket — which costs tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to make — has to be built for each launch. But SpaceX’s plan has been to recover its rockets after launch rather than throw them away, so that the vehicles can be used again. That way, the company can save on manufacturing a completely new vehicle, and potentially lower the cost of each mission.
A watershed moment for the aerospace industry." theverge.com
Yes, it is true. I am a space junkie. I think this is wonderful and hope that the re-launched first stage will come back safely. Musk is a wonderful character. He has the Midas touch in inventiveness. He was a participant in creating Paypal. I bought something in Ireland last evening using Paypal. It was a splendidly uncomplicated event. The ability to re-use booster rockets is going to greatly reduce cost to put payloads in orbit. pl