Elon Musk says reusing expensive orbit-class boosters will mean “a huge revolution in spaceflight”
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soared off a seaside launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center here today (March 30) on an unprecedented second mission to deliver a spacecraft into orbit, proving the booster’s reusability.
The two-stage, 23-story-tall rocket lifted off at 6:27 p.m. EDT (2227 GMT) in the second launch in two weeks for Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which is ramping up its flight rate following an accident in September.
Perched on top of the rocket, which sported a new upper stage and payload fairing, was the 11,645-lb. (5,282 kilograms) SES-10 communications satellite, which is intended to provide TV, internet and other services to customers in Latin America. [In Photos: SpaceX Launches, Lands 1st Reused Falcon 9 Rocket]
“This is a really, really exciting step forward,” Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer of Luxembourg-based SES, said before launch. “I think the whole industry is looking.”