Planet Talk

Then vs Now…

On March 30, 2017, exactly four years from today, SpaceX launched and landed its very first used rocket. You might be wondering what exactly a “used” rocket is. Used rockets are those that have already made successful trips into space and back. But why does this matter? As of four years ago today, SpaceX discovered how to create rockets that can be reused, reducing the cost of rocket launches (by over a factor of 4), and therefore making space travel less obsolete and making space more accessible. The first reusable rocket to be sent into space was Falcon 9, which made its first ever trip to the ISS, and later on was sent on a second flight to launch a communications satellite.

Today, SpaceX, along with other aerospace companies, have progressed beyond the moon and the ISS and have begun to tack Mars. Rather ironically, these missions are not going very well compared to the major success that took place four years ago. Early this morning, SpaceX sent up a test rocket to Mars (for the fourth time), and it exploded, yet again. This launch was worse than others, sending metal rocket debris showering down much earlier, only approximately 6 minutes after launching. This Starship prototype (Starship is a vehicle intended to take people to Mars) was expected to complete its test missions by 2020, leaving the country with low hope of success in the near future.

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