The dawn of privatization and technological advancements saw the rise of privately owned rocket manufacturing companies. Markedly, Elon Musk, one of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs of our time had a vision. He visioned space travel as a commercial commodity and his vision is slowly and gradually shaping itself.
Formerly, Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, has crossed milestones by cutting down manufacturing and launching costs drastically. In the coming days, it aims to shatter yet another milestone.
NASA and SpaceX Goal
Falcon 9, previously used in June will take its second flight on Tuesday. This makes SpaceX the first private company to launch a recycled rocket for transport. Falcon 9, the unmanned spacecraft will transport around 4800 pounds of food, gear, and experiments according to NASA and SpaceX.
NASA’s International space station manager, Kirk Shireman, explained that the risk of this launch is the same as that of a new one. However, he still states that this is a dangerous business and there is never a thing as zero risks.
Furthermore, SpaceX aims to drive down launch costs substantially by reusing it’s boosters and other components again and again. SpaceX manager Jessica Jensen said that “We want to be able to send thousands of people into space, not just tens, and so re-usability is a very key part of that, and we’re excited because tomorrow is just one step closer to that.”
The first stage booster from the rocket is projected to land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Falcon 9 will be attached to the ISS for about a month before returning and landing into the Pacific Ocean off of the coast of California.
Sped up video of the Falcon 9 first-stage landing from today's mission
Posted by SpaceX on Friday, May 27, 2016
Out of the twenty missions, SpaceX signed with NASA, this will be the thirteenth. The SpaceX press kit states that “Under the CRS contracts, SpaceX has restored an American capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo, including live plants and animals, to and from
the orbiting laboratory.”