Thursday, March 30 marks a historic day for the commercial spaceflight company SpaceX. The company has successfully launched and landed one of its used first stage rockets.
The Falcon 9 lifted off out of Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, carrying communication satellites for its SES-10 mission. Shortly after launch, the first stage detached from its payload and returned to Earth.
It’s the first time in history that a used orbital rocket has returned to Earth and it’s the second time since such a rocket has proven itself — NASA’s Space Shuttles were the first.
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Following is a transcript of the video
Elon Musk: Alright, we just had an incredible day today. The first re-flight of an orbital-class booster did its mission perfectly. Dropped off the second stage, came back, and landed on the drone ship, right in the bullseye.
It’s an amazing day I think for space as a whole, for the space industry. It means you can fly and re-fly an orbit-class booster, which is the most expensive part of the rocket. This is going to be ultimately a huge revolution in spaceflight. It’s the difference between — if you had aeroplanes where you threw away an aeroplane after every flight, versus you could re-use them multiple times.
It’s been 15 years to get to this point. Taken us a long time. A lot of difficult steps along the way. I’m just incredibly proud of the SpaceX team for being able to achieve this incredible milestone in the history of space. And, yeah I’m sort of at a loss for words, but it’s really a great day. Not just for SpaceX, but for the space industry as a whole. And proving that something can be done that many people said was impossible. Thank you.
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