SpaceX has broken a record in the world of spaceflight. For the first time in history, a spacecraft was launched using mostly recycled and refurbished technology. This wasn’t a test mission either.
The spacecraft was heading to the International Space Station (ISS) with 2,000kg of cargo. This includes basic supplies and research gear for the crew — such as sensors to monitor the amount of space junk around the station, and to measure how much sunlight reaches the Earth. This is significant, because it means NASA just placed a large amount of confidence in SpaceX’s recyclable technology.
The launch’s location is significant too. The spacecraft lifted off from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the site of the September 2016 Falcon 9 explosion. This is not only a memorial to Falcon 9, but also a testament to SpaceX’s dedication to improve and succeed.
SpaceX is also developing technology to put the first humans on Mars by 2024, and use its various Falcon 9, Dragon, and eventually Falcon Heavy spacecrafts to redirect resources to the planet.