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Extra Portion of SpaceX Rocket Recovered from Launch, Musk Says

Extra Portion of SpaceX Rocket Recovered from Launch, Musk Says

Essentially the rocket launched, landed and re-launched again, to make history. SpaceX stands at the precipice of greatness with its latest achievement, but it would need to repeat this feat several times before experts stop holding their breath. My mind's blown, frankly.

"I'm sort of at a loss for words", said Elon Musk, adding that "It's really a great day, not just for SpaceX but for the space industry as a whole and proving that something could be done that many people said was impossible".

Not only did his team successfully relaunch the rocket, but also managed to put a commercial satellite into orbit and bring the rocket back to the Earth, while erecting yet another milestone in space travel. But, Mr. Musk's space firm has become adept in recovering rockets after their launch. Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos has also been keeping a lower profile, launching and landing his New Shepard rocket at least five times as the company prepares for a future goal of taking tourists to space.

After deploying a telecommunications satellite into orbit, it then returned to Earth and made a successful landing on a drone platform floating in the Atlantic Ocean - a convincing demonstration that the end-to-end reusable rocket cycle is actually possible. While Musk refused to tell the press what the mystery item was right after the 2010 launch, the Los Angeles Times reported it to be the cheese upon confirmation of SpaceX the next day. "So it's its own little spacecraft", Musk said.

Musk also tweeted that the "Falcon Heavy test flight now scheduled for late summer".

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"At first it sounded easy. It's taken us a long time [with a] lot of hard steps along the way".

Plans to reuse the Falcon 9 second stage booster have been abandoned as the weight of a heat shield and other equipment would impinge on payload too much for this to be economically feasible.

The Falcon 9, a two-stage rocket created to transport satellites with Space X's Dragon spacecraft, which already has been used to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. Currently, millions of dollars' worth of rocket parts are jettisoned after each launch. The rest is the rocket itself, with 70% of the price tied up in the first stage of the booster.

"Falcon Heavy will be able to carry heavy payloads for customers like the Pentagon, but it's also important for the long-term goal of pushing further into the solar system", said Phil Larson, a space policy adviser to Barack Obama who worked for SpaceX and is now at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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