For the past year or so, SpaceX has been trying hard to land its reusable Falcon 9 rocket on a floating drone ship in the sea. Previous attempts were not successful, but the company has now managed to securely land four of its Falcon 9 rockets, but it’s yet to send one of them back up again. SpaceX is thinking about that now, it’s likely that the company will relaunch one of its reusable rockets at some point later this year.
The company’s hand was forced earlier this year when Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announced that his private space company Blue Origin had landed a rocket on solid ground. The company later relaunched and landed that rocket, beating SpaceX to the punch.
SpaceX quickly responded by landing the first Falcon 9 on solid ground, but what it really wanted to do was land it on a floating drone ship, and it was finally able to do that earlier this year. Since then SpaceX had done it multiple times to show that landing on a barge in the sea is really possible.
Now the time is for SpaceX to prove that these rockets can be relaunched. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted today, saying that the fourth Falcon 9 rocket that was recently landed has arrived in the company’s hangar and that SpaceX is now aiming for the first reflight in September or October this year.
There’s a great cost advantage to using reusable rockets in space missions, they reduce turnaround time and cut costs, and SpaceX is on its way to prove that once and for all.
Fourth rocket arrives in the hangar. Aiming for first reflight in Sept/Oct. pic.twitter.com/TqW8d6Cc3U
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 7, 2016