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Breaking Records: Reusable Rockets

September 25, 2020
Falcon 9
By Official SpaceX Photos – CRS-18 Mission, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80806227

It takes a lot of work to launch two rockets to space within three months. People have to work hard to ensure rockets are built and tested properly. But do you know what’s harder? Reusing and relaunching the same rocket. Why? Many rockets never really return to Earth, as they drop parts off in space to save energy and fuel. After all, it takes a lot of energy and fuel to bring heavy equipment back to Earth. The Falcon 9 is a partially reusable rocket made by SpaceX, which means one stage detaches itself and lands back on Earth. This way, each rocket does not need to be built from scratch using expensive equipment but can be repurposed from the rocket part that comes back. Way to recycle, right? Now the Falcon 9 has broken its record by reusing and launching a rocket within fifty-one days of its earlier launch. The bonus? SpaceX managed to save both halves of the two-piece protective fairing (worth millions of dollars!) before they landed in the ocean. After all, reusing spacecraft parts is especially valuable not only to bring the cost down but also to prevent creating debris. Double win, right?

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