Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Space Force will start to fly missions on reused SpaceX rockets next year to save millions of dollars, the service announced Friday.
The Space Force will fly two GPS satellites into orbit on a Falcon 9 first-stage booster. The lower cost that SpaceX charges for reused rockets will save taxpayers $52.7 million, a statement from the military branch said.
SpaceX has reused boosters since March 2017, but the Space Force wanted to see the technology proven before flying costly satellites on a used rocket.
In June, the Space Force allowed SpaceX to recover the booster from a national security launch of another GPS satellite for the first time. The military learned "valuable data and insight on reusing" rockets from that mission, according to the announcement.
Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and chief operating officer, said in a news release that the company was pleased the Space Force saw "the benefits of the technology."
Reusing boosters has become routine for SpaceX. In August, the company used the same booster for the sixth time in a launch from Florida, setting a record for the launch industry.