Space transportation company SpaceX made history on Thursday by launching a reusable rocket for the second time and recovering it once again at sea for a possible third time use. SpaceX’s reusable rocket Falcon 9 had successfully landed on a drone ship - called Of Course, I Still Love You - last April. The same rocket today delivered a communications satellite into orbit. It’s booster, or the rocket engine,  separated from the rest of the vehicle and made a successful landing for the second time aboard the same drone ship. (See also: How SpaceX Reinvented The Rocket Launch Industry)

Yesterday’s achievement by SpaceX has the potential to drive down transportation costs by orders of magnitude in the space industry. In turn, this could open the door to commercialization of space travel, paving the way eventually for bigger journeys and additional innovation in the sector. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who is founder of electric carmaker Tesla Inc. (TSLA), called today’s flight “an amazing day for space as a whole, and for the space industry.” “You can fly and refly an orbit-class rocket, which is the most expensive component of spaceflight,” he said. Inc. (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos’ other company Blue Origin is engaged in a similar venture. Its rocket has successfully conducted suborbital flights and landed safely back on earth. (See also: Elon Musk's SpaceX Launches Monday: What To Expect)  

However, SpaceX is the first company to reuse orbital rockets. According to Musk, the company’s next goal is to reduce turnaround time and make it possible to reuse rockets within 24 hours. The company aims to achieve this goal by the end of this year. By making it possible to reuse rockets, SpaceX eventually aims to cut down launch costs by approximately 30 percent. Based on listed prices on its website, this means that rocket launch prices will come down to approximately $44 million. Arianespace, which is SpaceX’s competitor, charged companies approximately $78 million as launch costs for Ariane 5, its last rocket. It intends to bring down launch costs to $52.2 million with Ariane 6. 

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