SpaceX will put its reusable rocket to the test this week. The company will try launching a Falcon 9 rocket, but not one that never saw a launching pad. Instead, the space-faring company will launch a rocket that was already used, for the first time ever.
If all goes according to plan, the launch will mark a hugely important milestone for SpaceX. If the launch ends successfully, it would mean that SpaceX indeed can reuse rockets, meaning that future rocket launches will need much less money. Also, reusable rockets will shave off a significant financial part of future space missions, making rockets to be used as airplanes.
Phil Larson, a former White House advisor on space and innovation and SpaceX senior manager said that “If you can get to space more economically, then it opens a frontier for what you can do in terms of scientific research, exploration and sending humans and robots to other worlds.”
For instance, a Falcon 9 rocket costs $54 million, and that’s a lot of money. But, if the launch ends successful, the company would pay only for the fuel ($200,000 per launch) and for work on doing small repairs on the rocket. Anyway, much cheaper than sending a new rocket.
Elon musk said earlier that the cost of space-faring will be reduced by a factor of a hundred, and if SpaceX manages to relaunch its rocket, the humanity may enter a new golden age of space exploration.