After several unsuccessful attempts, SpaceX, the company founded by the billionaire Elon Musk, has managed to recover a significant proportion from a rocket that was used to deliver supplies on the International Space Station (ISS), to be reused.
The company resumed flights to the INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION last Friday after a rocket has exploded after the takeoff last year.
Recovering the top of a rocket is seen as a tremendous accomplishment because it substantially reduces the costs of space exploration. For example, prior to each mission, NASA’s rocket, Space Shuttle, now removed from use, require investments of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Elon Musk hopes that the most important component of the Falcon 9 rocket, the first stage, recovered Friday, to be used again in about two months.
Usually, the first stage of a rocket is discarded into the ocean after its fuel runs off and has completed its mission. The moment when the first stage of the SpaceX rocket has landed on a platform on the sea, nine minutes after the takeoff, was watched live by 80.000 people. At the headquarters of the aerospace company, near Los Angeles, the employees have frantically applauded this achievement.
“Open up the imagination to what is possible,” wrote on Twitter the Canadian cosmonaut Chris Hadfield after the successful landing.
The ultimate goal of Elon Musk and SpaceX is the colonization of Mars. By 2016, the company will send the first human crew aboard the INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, a first since 2011, since the withdrawal of the NASA space shuttle.