by Paul Brinkmann
Washington DC (UPI) Sep 25, 2020
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.
SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites from Florida
Washington DC (UPI) Sep 03, 2020
SpaceX launched 60 more of its Starlink satellites Thursday morning from Kennedy Space Center in Florida - the 12th mission for the company's fledgling broadband Internet service. Liftoff occurred on time at 8:46 a.m. EDT under clear skies from Complex 39A at the space center. A launch crew of about 200 people was kept distanced, masked and as separate as possible due to the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Space Force Brig. Gen. Douglas Schiess, commander of the 45th Space Wing that oversees ... read more
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