The video of SpaceX’s F9R reusable rocket test has gone viral on YouTube, with over 2.8 million views and rising.
The video, taken from a drone, shows the F9R rising from the ground to a height of 250m, then returning intact.
The test is significant as a step towards the goal of a reusable rocket; currently rockets are one use only.
According to the company:
SpaceX believes a fully and rapidly reusable rocket is the pivotal breakthrough needed to substantially reduce the cost of space access. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket currently carries a list price of about $54 million. However, the cost of fuel for each flight is only around $200,000—about 0.4% of the total. The majority of the launch cost comes from building the rocket, which flies only once. Compare that to a commercial airliner. Each new plane costs about the same as Falcon 9, but can fly multiple times per day, and conduct tens of thousands of flights over its lifetime. Following the commercial model, a rapidly reusable space launch vehicle could reduce the cost of reaching Earth orbit by a hundredfold.
Even if you’re not a space technology fan, the video is highly impressive.
SpaceX’s YouTube channel has 97,338 subscribers at the time of writing, with 117 videos.