U.S. Air Force’s space chief open to flying on SpaceX’s recycled rockets

U.S. Air Force’s space chief open to flying on SpaceX’s recycled rockets

The U.S. Air Force is open to use private aerospace and space technology firm Space Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX's) reusable rockets, General John "Jay" Raymond of the Air Force Space Command said.

General Raymond said that SpaceX has proven its ability to successfully use recycled rockets. He also noted that reusable rockets would help a lot in trimming costs of space missions.

Speaking on the topic, he said, "I would be comfortable if we were to fly on a reused booster. They've proven they can do it. ... It's going to get us to lower cost."

According to SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, the cost of recycling and re-flying a Falcon 9 rocket is "substantially" less than half of the cost of manufacturing a new rocket. The company website lists the cost of a Falcon 9 launch at around $62 million.

The idea of using and flying on recycled rockets became a reality around a week back when SpaceX successfully launched a communications satellite on a recycled Falcon 9 rocket that had previously put a cargo ship into orbit.

The main stage of that Falcon 9 rocket had been recovered after it returned and landed on an a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean shortly after making its maiden flight in April last year.

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