Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. successfully launched another reused rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida as it continues its mission to drive down flight costs through refurbishment and reusability.
The launch, SpaceX’s 15th this year, carried a high-powered communications satellite for customers EchoStar Corp. and SES SA to geostationary transfer orbit.
The mission used a “flight proven” Falcon 9 rocket booster, which means it’s flown to space previously before being recovered for reuse. Musk, SpaceX’s chief executive officer, has championed reusability — once derided as a crazy idea — to lower launch costs and win a growing roster of customers. The rocket deployed in Wednesday’s launch was previously used in a resupply mission for the International Space Station in February.
SpaceX successfully landed the rocket’s first stage on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean for reuse in another future launch.
The company has said it hopes to fly 20 to 24 missions this year. It successfully launched a satellite for Iridium Communications Inc. on Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base on California’s central coast and is targeting another launch for late October, a spokeswoman said.