Fri. Mar 31st, 2023
SpaceX landed its newest booster on August 13, after the JCSAT-16 mission.
Enlarge / SpaceX landed its newest booster on August 13, after the JCSAT-16 mission.


SpaceX is running out of space in its Florida facilities as it lands rockets by sea and by ground, so it would like to start reusing some of these first stage Falcon boosters as soon as possible. The first step was to find a customer, and now SpaceX has done that. Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES said on Tuesday it plans to launch a geostationary satellite, SES-10, on a reusable rocket in the fourth quarter of this year.

“We were the first commercial satellite operator to launch with SpaceX in 2013, and we are thrilled to once again be the first customer to launch on SpaceX’s first-ever mission with a flight-proven rocket,” said Martin Halliwell, Chief Technology Officer at SES ” We believe that reusable rockets will open a new era of spaceflight and make access to space more efficient in terms of cost and management.”

SpaceX has not yet specified how much it will charge for launch services on any of its flown boosters, but industry officials expect about a 30 percent discount off SpaceX’s normal price of $62 million for a Falcon 9 launch. The company hasn’t shared how much it spends refurbishing and reusing a Falcon 9 stage, nor has it provided much public information about the extent to which the vehicle’s engines had to be tested and prepared for a second flight.

However, to fulfill its goal of low-cost, reusable launch services, it’s not enough for SpaceX to make spectacular landings at sea and on land. The company must now take the critical step of demonstrating that rockets that have flown into space and returned to Earth at high energy can be turned around in a reasonably short time and at a low cost to make reusable rockets practical. Launching towards the end of 2016 – at a discount – would begin to deliver on that promise.

By akfire1

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