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What is SpaceX and what is the Falcon 9 mission? | Science | News

The company made history yesterday when it launched a used rocket into for a second time and brought the “most expensive part” safely back to earth.

The first-stage booster – which was previously launched into space last year – detached itself after the launch and landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. 

“I think it’s an amazing day for space,” said Elon Musk, the chief executive of SpaceX.

“It means you can fly and re-fly an orbit class booster, which is the most expensive part of the rocket. 

“This is going to be, hopefully, a huge revolution in spaceflight.”

The successful launch, from Cape Canaveral in Florida, puts the company miles ahead of any space agency or private corporation to date.

What is SpaceX?

SpaceX is a space technologies company founded by South African tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Founded in 2003, SpaceX has quickly grown to become a pioneer in the development of reusable space rockets.

The company designs and manufactures rockets that sends satellites into orbit around Earth – and one day it hopes to send people into space.

SpaceX is the only private company ever to bring back a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit. This feat was first accomplished in December 2010.

Today the company is under a $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) contract with  to supply the International Space Station (ISS) with cargo.

Elon Musk, the genius billionaire behind SpaceX, believes humanity has to progress into a space-faring civilisation in the future.

At the 67th International Astronautical Congress, Elon Musk said: “History is going to bifurcate on two paths. 

“One path is people will stay on Earth forever and there will be some eventual extinction event.

“The alternative is to become a space-faring civilisation and a multi-planet species.”

This belief has driven SpaceX to set the goal of reaching Mars with a robotic vessel by 2020.

What is Falcon 9?

The Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket model designed to allow the transportation of satellites and cargo…

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