SpaceX successfully landed their Falcon 9 rocket on a pad at Kennedy Space Center.
SpaceX has been attempting to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket back on Earth after a launch for some time, they have had unsuccessful attempts in the past utilizing a floating barge in the Atlantic, but this time they succeeded in landing back from where it launched.
You’d be surprised to hear that fueling a Falcon 9 only costs .03% of the total launch cost. The construction of the first stage is roughly 70% of the launch cost, which is where the real savings comes from with reusable rockets. This helps universities and non-government entities afford rocket launches which directly translates to advanced technology for the average consumer. The most immediate effect of reusable rockets are the environmental benefit, instead of having to produce a full first stage for every launch they are able to conserve precious metals and the carbon dioxide that is produced alongside of it.
OrbComm’s satellites are primarily for M2M (Machine to Machine) and IoT (Internet of Things) communication. It’ll provide more coverage for autonomous machines to communicate with each other, furthering bringing civilian life into the true 21st century of technology. They are pivotal in enabling public utilities to monitor and respond to events with their infrastructure, governments to track assets both domestically and abroad, and provide your mobile devices with stable access to the internet.
As our space industry matures, one day we’ll be able to take vacations to Low-Earth Orbit and beyond. For now, we’ll have to celebrate the introduction of re-usable rockets into our space fleet.