by Chris Becker
This is big. Big big news that paradoxically one day will be as humdrum as a 747 crossing the Atlantic. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched its orbital rocket, the Falcon 9, and landed the first stage.
The 2nd stage went on to deploy 11 satellites for Orbcom, but the game changer is the huge – and very expensive – first stage was successfully relanded minutes after takeoff. This means it can be used again, and again. See here for why reusability is so important.
This paves the way for the key to cheap space travel – reusability. Up until now, orbital flight was the equivalent of destroying your 747 every time you flew across the country.
The 21st century will be about technological multipliers, not financial “hubs” or property speculation.
This technology will mean orders of magnitude reduced cost for access to space and with that, huge improvements in productivity, prosperity and opening up innovation across a variety of industries (and not just space tourism as critics have derided).
A great day. Better than the new Star Wars, because this is real!