SpaceX Falcon 9 blasted off from Florida on Thursday in the first successful launch of a recycled rocket, a feat that may open an era of cheaper space travel. Fred Katayama reports.
A first in space. SpaceX Falcon 9 blasted off from Florida on Thursday using a recycled rocket. SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk: (SOUNDBITE) ELON MUSK, SPACEX FOUNDER, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's an amazing day for space as a whole, for the space industry, you can fly and re-fly all the class boosters, which is the most expensive part of the rocket. This is gonna be a huge revolution in space flight." It took SpaceX 15 years to show that a rocket could be recovered and reused. Typically, it's discarded in the ocean after a single flight. By reusing them, SpaceX aims to cut its costs by about 30 percent and shorten intervals between space flights. Vladimir Golubev of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach: (SOUNDBITE) DR. VLADIMIR V. GOLUBEV, PROFESSOR OF AEROSPACE ENGINEERING, DIRECTOR OF PROPULSION AND AERODYNAMICS, EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "He is not the only one who is trying to develop this technology with reusable vehicles. Jeff Bezos is the one who is doing the same thing, but for a different purpose." After the launch, Musk said his next goal by year-end is to turn the rocket around for relaunch in 24 hours.