SpaceX is celebrating success in Florida after a recycled rocket blasted off then returned to Earth and landed on a remotely piloted platform in the Atlantic Ocean.
The billionaire entrepreneur predicted a "huge revolution in spaceflight" after his company SpaceX flew a used rocket into space and back - a pioneering feat that marked the culmination of 15 years' work for the former physics and business graduate.
We know that Musk and SpaceX began with the idea of making rockets reusable for commercial flights when it was established more than a decade ago, and the company was finally able to achieve this goal in 2015. "It means you can fly and re-fly an orbit-class booster, which is the most expensive part of the rocket".
After some debate about whether the nosecone could be recovered, Musk said he told his engineering team, "Imagine you had $6 million in cash on a pallet flying through the air that's just going to smash into the ocean". The rocket could apparently be used a third time following a successful landing aboard a barge off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Of course, the first step in making rockets reusable is getting them to land after they've flown - something which SpaceX appears to have gotten the hang of both on land and on floating sea platforms - although it took some highly publicised failures to ideal the technique.
If SpaceX also manages to reuse the second stage of the rocket, costs will drop even further. The Falcon Heavy is the higher variant of the Falcon 9 launch vessel and is made of a common Falcon 9 rocket core, with two extra strap-on boosters, anchored in the first stage of Falcon 9 rocket.
San Francisco: Elon Musk is planning a first test run late this summer with what his SpaceX bills as the most powerful rocket in the world, a step toward sending two paying tourists around the moon late next year.
Perhaps more important to Musk's visionary reputation, the same techniques will likely make portions of the planned Falcon Heavy rocket recoverable, increasing the feasibility of Musk's planned colonization of Mars. While it is not exactly routine, it is the first time a rocket that had flown in space before is being reused. Currently, millions of dollars' worth of rocket parts are jettisoned after each launch. "Flight proven", Musk quickly added, his preferred term. Musk promised that they will make this happen until the end of this year. It nailed another vertical landing at sea Thursday once it was finished boosting the satellite for the SES company of Luxembourg. "This is what we want for the future", he said.