Space

Elon Musk Spends $1B In Developing Reusable Rockets

Brooke James
First Posted: Jun 23, 2017 05:01 AM EDT

It seems that there are millions of man-made objects in space. From spacecrafts to telescopes to rovers to the ISS to smaller pieces of junk, humans seem to be intent on sending things to space, and many seem to forget how exorbitant each mission is.

Rockets, no matter how awe-inspiring, are also as wasteful, considering that most of them become trash soon after launch. However, billionaire Elon Musk, like a real-life Tony Stark being a tech-genius, is seeking to end such tradition -- by developing reusable rockets.

Science Alert noted that Musk has been working to ensure that parts of his company SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets and the larger Falcon Heavy systems can lift off, land and be reused -- all within 24 hours of landing. Musk previously shared, "This is going to be a huge revolution for spaceflight. It's been 15 years to get to this point."

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On March 30, SpaceX was able to reuse a previously flown Falcon 9 rocket booster, which helped launch a satellite to orbit for the first time. On June 25, the company is seeking to fly another used rocket as part of a "weekend doubleheader" that will see two separate launches within 48 hours.

While the goal is to lower the cost of access to space with these reusable rockets, developing such capability has already cost SpaceX about $1 billion. This seems ironic considering its goal.

There is no need to worry. It seems that the billionaire can recover the money he has spent to lower the costs of space flights. In an estimate by Business Insider, it seems that in less than six years, SpaceX could recoup its investment. However, things like launch failures have not been taken into account and could dissuade customers, thereby triggering profit losses. It does not matter how long the time it takes though; he would not be keeping much of the profits. Musk already said that he plans on putting company profits to developing technologies that could ferry people to Mars.

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