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     Success for SpaceX

    Space LaunchToday, SpaceX have made history for space launch by landing the first stage of their mission to deliver eleven Orbcomm communication satellites to low Earth orbit.

    The mission was a complete success. The eleven Orbcomm satellites were delivered to their intended orbits by the second stage (which was not recovered), while the first stage turned around after separation and then fired its engines again to slow down, head towards the landing site, only a few miles away from the take-off point and also within the Cape Canaveral complex, and then land. History will be made again, when that same first stage is re-fuelled and used for a second and subsequent launch, thereby spreading the cost of its construction over the total number of launches that it can make in its operational life time. No other space launcher used anywhere in the world can do this.

    So, SpaceX are now on course to becoming the lowest cost space launcher by far, due to the re-usability of the first stage. The only further improvement required would be to also recover the second stage. This will come later.

    The way to colonizing the Moon and Mars, building space power stations, mining asteroids and many other activities in space absolutely requires the sharp reduction in launch costs that SpaceX has now started to bring about. The significance of this achievement cannot be under-estimated.

    Note: Source: SpaceX: Press release and videos

    Associated Topics

    General Space

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