SES Says Used Rocket Ready for Second Lift Off

"We believe reusable rockets will open up a new era of spaceflight, and make access to space more efficient in terms of cost and manifest management", said SES CTO Martin Halliwell in a statement, looking back at their first launch with the rocket builder in 2013.

On Thursday, for the first time, the private spaceflight company will attempt to reuse a previously flown rocket booster to deliver a satellite to orbit. It, however, hasn't reused any of the Falcon 9 rockets it landed back safely till date (one of them is even placed in the front lawns of the company HQ). This Falcon 9 first stage was first used to send a Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station on April 8, 2016.

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Recovering and refurbishing the used rocket booster that's scheduled to fly again on Wednesday took SpaceX roughly four months, President Gwynne Shotwell said on a panel at an industry conference in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

Luxembourg-based SES and Hawthrone, CA-based SpaceX jointly announced the agreement to "launch SES-10 on a flight-proven Falcon 9 orbital rocket booster". The added risk from rockets that have already flown comes with a price discount for companies looking for a ticket-albeit now a small one as the tech is still in development. We also have to say "liquid-fueled" because the space shuttle solid rocket boosters were reusable.

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Mission planned for Thursday, 30th March starts with opening launch window at 22:00 UTC. Punctually at 18:00 UTC nine Merlin-1D engines were ignited for three seconds with full thrust - these seconds gave specialists from SpaceX necessary data to confirm thirty minutes later, that propulsion is in flawless condition before flight planned for Thursday. After completing the mission, it landed in the Atlantic Ocean on a mobile platform. Its first stage engine was powered at launch pad 39A at 2 p.m. EDT, accelerating to full power for just a few seconds. This isn't just a regular launch for Elon Musk and the gang. It will be the beginning of the end for throwing away tens of millions of dollars each launch. If all goes according to plan, without any delays, mishaps or explosions, the Falcon 9 will ferry the SES-10 communications satellite into orbit later this week.

On Thursday, SpaceX is set to launch yet another satellite into orbit from the Florida coast - but this mission will be far from routine for the company.

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"I think Elon's given us 24 hours, maybe, to get done what we need to get done, and it's not a million people around a rocket scurrying like a beehive or an anthill", said Shotwell.


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