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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Makes Historic Landing

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Makes Historic Landing

The third time proved to be the charm for SpaceX as their Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched into space on Monday night and then safely landed its booster back on Earth shortly thereafter.

Such an achievement has been the goal of SpaceX since its inception in 2002, but proved to be an exceedingly difficult feat after failing twice over the last year.

The creation of a reusable rocket like the Falcon 9 is seen as a game changer in the world of private space flight as it will significantly reduce the costs associated with traveling into the cosmos.

"The Falcon 9 rocket costs about $16 million to build," SpaceX founder Elon Musk explained to reporters after the event, "but the cost of the propellant, which is mostly oxygen and a gas, is only about $200,000."

"So that means that the potential cost reduction in the long term is probably in excess of a factor of a hundred."

The company is not entirely there yet, but hopes that tests on the returned Falcon 9 will show that it is capable of being reused. Should that be the case, Musk expects to begin reusing the rockets starting at some point next year.

While the achievement is significant for the private space industry, it may have much larger implications for the future of the human race.

Musk told reporters that Monday's event "really dramatically improves my confidence that a city on Mars is possible. You know, that's what all this is about."

Source: Space.com

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