SpaceX will try to land a rocket launched this afternoonon on a ship floating in the Atlantic ocean. It’s never been done before. Rockets have heretofore been a one-time-use conveyance. That’s a problem, according to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, because rockets are expensive to build. Musk, also the founder of Tesla, which continues to pioneer renewable energy vehicles (for earth), knows intimately the importance of reusable resources and cost issues associated with waste.
“If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred, ” Musk wrote in 2013. “That really is the fundamental breakthrough needed to revolutionize access to space.” The fundamental breakthrough of reusable rockets could begin today. SpaceX has tried this once before, in January, but lost the rocket trying to land it.