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SpaceX wants to re-use landed rocket this Fall

Posted on Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 13:32:02 CEST by

SpaceX reveals it plans to re-launch one of its recovered Falcon 9 first stages sometime this Fall. Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of flight reliability at SpaceX, said the first rocket to be re-used will be the one that launched the previous Dragon cargo mission to the ISS, on April 8.

Koenigsmann added that SpaceX is currently in talks to find a customer willing to take the risk:
"On the reflight of the recovered booster, that's going to be most likely in fall this year," Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of flight reliability at SpaceX, said during a news conference Saturday (July 16) that previewed the Monday (July 18) launch of the company's robotic Dragon cargo capsule toward the International Space Station (ISS).

"Of course, we need to have a customer," Koenigsmann added. "We're in talks right now, but we haven't finalized those talks at this point in time."
As a bonus, here's a video of Sunday's landing of the Falcon 9 first stage that transported a new International Docking Adapter (IDA-2) to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch and landing was performed at Cape Canaveral, making it SpaceX's second ground landing.

The first successful ground landing of a Falcon 9 took place on December 20, 2015. So far, SpaceX has launched seven rockets this year and it has 13 more on its 2016 manifest. The primary mission of all seven Falcon 9 rockets launched this year was a success, whereas the six drone ship landings had a 50 percent success rate.

On a related note, Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that it's really tempting to redesign the upper stage for return too. He says the upcoming Falcon Heavy rocket has enough power for this, but remarks it's probably best to stay focused on the Mars rocket.

The first Falcon Heavy test flight is expected later this year and SpaceX has requested permission for two new areas for landing spent rockets. The Falcon Heavy consists of three first-stage rocket boosters, and SpaceX wants to return each booster to separate landing zones.



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