SpaceX Makes History Re-Used Rocket Successfully Delivers Satellite

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rumbled aloft on Thursday, deposited a customer's satellite in orbit and landed successfully on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean, drawing raucous cheers from the crowd gathered at the firm's California headquarters.

Last year, the Air Force awarded SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, California, its first substantial military contract in a deal valued at $83 million to launch a Global Positioning System satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket in May 2018. "We'll just take two first stages and use them as strap-on boosters", Musk said.

The Kremlin is confident Russia's state-run space agency can compete with the most ambitious companies in the field, including Elon Musk's SpaceX.

SpaceX is targeting launch of the SES-10 mission today, Thursday, March 30th, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The company plans up to six more flights of recycled boosters this year, including two that will strapped alongside a third, new first-stage for the debut test flight of a heavy-lift rocket. "Congratulations on another historic launch", the U.S. space agency NASA wrote on Twitter.

SpaceX has for 15 years been honing the technology of powering its boosters back to careful Earth landings on solid ground and in the water.

Musk said at a press briefing that the rocket won't travel to space a third time.

SpaceX is working to develop reusable rockets to reduce launch costs.

This day will be known as a historic day for the space industry. "It means you can fly and refly an orbital class booster which is the most expensive part of the rocket", he added.

As for the cost of Thursday's launch, Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer at SES, has declined to say publicly the exact amount.

Each rocket costs about $62 million total. NASA is also preparing its own heavy launcher, the Space Launch System or SLS, with a target initial launch date of 2018.

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