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SpaceX Lands a Reusable Rocket

Nathan Dean, Journalist

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On Thursday, March 30th, major aerospace company SpaceX managed to launch a previously landed rocket for the first time on a launch pad in the Atlantic Ocean. This step forward for modern science could lead to major developments in aerospace technology, and perhaps even allow for the commercialization of space flight in the future.

A massive step forward for the company and its Falcon 9 program, this impressive achievement comes in the wake of a major setback in the form of an explosion during a previous landing attempt. While attempting to land a similar rocket a few months earlier at Cape Canaveral, there was a massive explosion leading to the complete destruction of of the spacecraft in question. Despite the company diagnosing the cause of the failure in November, it was only a few weeks before launch that they were able to regain the clearance to make another landing attempt.

Up until now, rockets utilized inefficient designs that relied on stages that would separate, ejecting each component into the ocean which made them impossible to reuse for multiple missions. Falcon 9 rockets, however, utilizes a relaunchable design that, in theory, could cut down on the costs of space missions considerably in the future by eliminating the need to construct entirely new crafts for each mission. While the design does not save the entire rocket, it does save the first stage, a fourteen story core that contains the main engine and fuel required to lift off.

Safely landing without endangering passengers, and maintaining most components throughout the process, the new system should be able to farther future space exploration while also cutting down costs. It can be expected that if technological innovation continues at this rate, private companies such as SpaceX may soon be performing missions for NASA, such as launching satellites or transporting astronauts to the ISS.
While a successful launch of a reused rocket is a great step forward for the technology implemented in the Falcon 9 program, it is not yet complete. Requiring some adjustment to the system, it is planned to apply this design to other space crafts in the future to enhance potential new aerospace endeavors.

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The student news site of Millennium High School
SpaceX Lands a Reusable Rocket