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When Elon Musk announced the launch of SpaceX in 2002 he stated that his core objective was to revolutionise space travel by making it cheaper. He said that his pinnacle focus when it came to tackling this daunting task was to work on making rockets that would be reusable. Now it appears that Musk and SpaceX are closer to this milestone than ever before.
Last week, SpaceX successfully launched the first reusable rocket ship created within the company, the Falcon 9. After the successful launch, Musk made an announcement about the companies ambitious for the summer. He said that they plan to launch a demonstration flight of another rocket ship, the Falcon Heavy, which will involve the attempted recovery of the rocket’s upper stage.
“That will be exciting mission, one way or another, ” he said of the planned mission, “Hopefully in a good direction. The two side boosters will come back and do sort of a synchronized aerial ballet and land. Two of the side boosters will land back at the Cape. That’ll be pretty exciting to see two come in simultaneously, and the center core will land downrange on the drone ship.” Musk confirmed that at this current time, SpaceX is primarily concerning itself with the many commercial missions it has lined up using the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
When Musk initially announced his plans to tackle the high cost of space travel by attempting to create reusable rockets, many said that he was wasting his time and it could never be done. This means that if SpaceX’s planned summer mission does turn out to be a successful that Musk will have successfully silenced the naysayers and could be ushering in a new dawn in the region of space travel which could have huge implications going forward. “If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, ” said Musk “the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred.”