Advertisement

Space Force to start flying on reused SpaceX rockets

The U.S. Space Force will begin flying missions on reused Falcon 9 rockets, like this one that was launched Sept. 3, starting next year. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI
1 of 3 | The U.S. Space Force will begin flying missions on reused Falcon 9 rockets, like this one that was launched Sept. 3, starting next year. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

Astronauts return to Earth from International Space Station

From left to right, Expedition 62 crew members Andrew Morgan of NASA, Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir are seen inside the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft after they landed in a remote area near Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Friday. Photo by Andrey Shelepin/NASA/GCTC | License Photo

Latest Headlines