Elon Musk, founder of rocket company SpaceX says his company will “re-flight” one of its recovered rockets later this autumn. “Aiming for first re-flight in Sept/Oct” he Tweeted.
SpaceX now has 4 recovered Falcon-9 rockets safely stored in a hanger, although it is fair to say that some are more flight-worthy than others. It is also fair to say that an autumn re-launch is somewhat later than first anticipated. Earlier this year Musk said that a refurbished rocket could fly as soon as May or June.
That hasn’t happened, but either way a successful re-use of a Falconb-9 would be a huge step forward for the satellite – and rocket – industries. Muck has made no secret of his wish to see his rockets land and be re-used within weeks.
Musk has also said that a number of satellite operators have expressed interest in flying their cargo on a pre-flown Falcon-9. Indeed, SES’ CTO Martin Halliwell has been extremely enthusiastic about being a debut customer and using a refurbished rocket “if the price is right”.
SpaceX has – to date – successfully landed 4 rockets (one on land, 3 onto a floating barge). Its next mission is on June 14 when it is due to launch an ABS satellite and a Eutelsat craft aboard the same Falcon-9 rocket.