SpaceX is banking on second-time success as it launches a used Falcon 9 Rocket into space tonight. SpaceX is trying to use the rocket to place a satellite into orbit for SES, a communications firm based out Luxembourg. What’s noteworthy about tonight’s launch is that it will mark the first relaunch attempt for not only SpaceX, but for the entire space industry.
Part of the Falcon 9 that is being used for tonight’s launch came back to Earth to land on a drone ship in the ocean, after a successful mission in April 2016. SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, has reworked and refurbished this rocket stage to be set for another flight. Their goal: to cut down on the costs of sending things into space by reusing existing platforms. This idea of sustainability has been a huge part of Musk’s business plan ever since the company was founded 15 years ago. SpaceX projects that it can cut costs by 30% if it relaunches rockets rather than building new ones each time.
Tonight’s launch is scheduled to take place at 6:27 p.m. ET, with the booster hopefully coming back in for a landing about eight minutes later. You can livestream the launch and landing here:
An interesting note: SpaceX has successfully landed 8 out of 13 rocket attempts since December 2015.