Irene Klotz writes the launch was the first reflight of a used orbit-class rocket booster and the second time it landed on SpaceX’s Of Course I Still Love You robotic drone ship at sea.
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, said the launch works to establish the capacity for reflight of orbit-class boosters in efforts to reduce costs for future missions.
SpaceX originally used the first-stage Falcon 9 booster to launch a Dragon spacecraft in April to transport 7,000 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.
Benjamin Reed, SpaceX director of commercial crew mission management, said in October the company is also proposing to re-fly Dragon spacecraft for SpaceX’s 11th through 20th cargo delivery missions to ISS under the CRS program.
Space.com’s report additionally noted that SpaceX recovered the payload fairing of the Falcon 9 rocket launched Thursday, which the company is also planning to reuse.
The rocket carried an Airbus-built SES-10 communications satellite designed to offer internet, TV and other services for customers in Latin America.