SpaceX took nearly a year to relaunch its first “flight-proven” Falcon 9 booster, but within a year or two, company founder Elon Musk expects to be able to launch the same rocket day after day.
He also foresees a time when all the major components of a Falcon 9 rocket can be flown again — not just the first-stage booster, but also the nose cone and perhaps even the rocket’s upper stage.
That could drive the cost of a launch to less than 1 percent of what it is today — for example, $600,000 rather than the current $62 million list price for a Falcon 9 rocket launch.
“The significance of today is proving that it’s possible to do that,” Musk said.
Musk discussed the implications of the first-ever reuse of an orbital-class rocket today during a news briefing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, just a couple of hours after SpaceX successfully put the SES-10 communications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.