Sending loads into space is very expensive, because you not only need to burn massive amounts of fuel, but also build new rockets before each mission costs a fortune. Elon Musk and his company SpaceX decided to change that by using elements from the same rockets several times, which significantly reduces mission costs.
A few years ago, the company made attempts to bring the first missile elements (the so-called boosters) to Earth. The beginnings were not easy, which led to many astonishing disasters. The first successful landing (on a platform on the mainland) for SpaceX was not achieved until December 2015, and on the offshore platform in April 2016. Currently, the company regularly brings single-use boosters to Earth without major problems, the best evidence of this being the last mission.
SpaceX examined the missile in use on Earth for the eighth time
On Wednesday, a Falcon 9 rocket, which launched another “package” of 60 Starlink satellites into Earth orbit. Elon Musk and the company are currently building a giant satellite networkWhich will provide the Internet in the future to every corner of the globe, which is why Falcon’s subsequent trips into space have become almost every day (In 2020, SpaceX was flying into space every two weeks.)
01/20/2021 – Falcon 9 launches 60 Starlink satellites into orbit Foot. John Raux / AP Photo
However, Wednesday’s mission was special, because SpaceX broke an important record. This special version of the Falcon 9 rocket booster brought the payload into orbit for the eighth time. So far, no rocket has flown into space eight times. Moreover, SpaceX had no problems bringing the booster to Earth. After 9 minutes, she landed safely on a specially prepared platform at sea.
As SPACE.com explainsYesterday, the Falacon 9 missile booster version that was used on several high-profile missions, including the. send Crew Dragon capsules (no astronauts yet) at the International Space Station in March 2019. It was last used on December 13, 2020, which means the SpaceX team had just over a month to prepare the rocket clip for re-launch.
SpaceX currently relies on previously used rocket elements, and rarely decides to launch new ones. As Space.com states, in 2020, of 26 missions, as many as 22 were recovered missiles. The company’s fleet currently includes eight previously used Falcon 9 missile units, as well as several Falcon Heavy missiles.