Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket launching business is beginning to look like a pre-owned car sales business, only where the back lot is full of ‘one previous owner’ first-stages of its powerful Falcon-9 rocket.
SpaceX had another success in the early hours of July 18th (at 12.45am Eastern Time), when it safely brought back its 5th rocket, and the second to the Cape Canaveral launch site. The other three were all landed onto a floating barge.
The launch was for a NASA-contracted Dragon space capsule to the International Space Station.
SpaceX has not yet officially stated which of the – now – five returned rockets will be re-used, although rumour suggests it will be Falcon-9 that first flew in April. It is also widely expected that SES of Luxembourg is in dialogue with Musk’s team about being the debut customer. That flight is expected in September or October, say reports.