Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla CEO, is a man of his word.
March 30 was a very special day - for the first time in history, a rocket carried a satellite into space and then returned back. As SpaceX wrote in their statement, the SES-10 mission will mark a historic milestone on the road to full and rapid reusability as the world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket was launched from the Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center and successfully delivered SES-10, a commercial communications satellite for SES, a worldleading satellite operator, to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). Reportedly, SES-10 is SES's first satellite designed exclusively to serve the thriving markets of Latin America. With 55 Ku-band transponder equivalents, SES-10 will be one of the biggest satellites covering Latin America. After completing its task, Falcon 9's first stage then landed on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship that was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Reusable rockets will, according to SpaceX, lead to saving a lot of money on launch costs, as many rockets today are either destroyed or lost after they launch into space. But what counts most is the fact that they won't need to build new rockets for each mission and this is where the greatest cost-saving lies - while Falcon 9 costs $60 million to make, the largest remaining cost with re-usable rockets is fuel, costing only between $200,000 to $300,000 per mission, making space travel as envisioned by Musk something to count on in the future.
After the mission, Elon Musk proudly tweeted: "Incredibly proud of the SpaceX team for achieving this milestone in space! Next goal is reflight within 24 hours."