And the cargo is the SES-10 satellite, which is meant to provide communications services to Latin America. After the test, the booster for this week's launch was moved to Cape Canaveral, the second stage booster attached on top, and then on Monday underwent a "static fire" burn, a firing of its engines for several seconds.
SpaceX will attempt to re-land the first-stage rocket booster again after it flies Thursday.
According to Musk, "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".
Almost ready for its second trip into space, the Falcon 9's first stage booster ignited at launch pad 39A at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) and throttled up to full power - roughly 1.7 million pounds of thrust - for a few seconds as clamps held the rocket on the ground. However, a successful landing could be more challenging with this mission. On April 8, 2016, this Falcon 9 lofted nearly 7,000 pounds of supplies-including a new inflatable habitat-in one of SpaceX's Dragon capsules bound for the International Space Station.
Fortunately, SpaceX has a volunteer for their certified pre-owned rocket in SES, a satellite company based in Luxembourg that's been campaigning to be the guinea pig for this particular mission. It landed successfully on an unmanned drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Not only is SpaceX launching a reused rocket for the first time, but they are delivering a payload to GTO.
Elon Musk and one of SpaceX's self-landing Falcon 9 rocket boosters.
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Spaceflight Now reports that a "flight-proven" Falcon 9 rocket will be fired up during a 2.5-hour launch window which starts at 6 p.m. EDT on Thursday. Instead, just play "SpaceX Falcon 9 Lander", a free retro-style video game created by a user of MIT Media Lab's project "Scratch".
However, the company also experienced a major setback in the months since this rocket landed back on Earth, which delayed its launch schedule.
After successful retrieval and landing of Falcon 9 rockets, it looks like SpaceX is ready for the next step - to reuse them. Company CEO Elon Musk has been dreaming about reusable rockets since the company's inception 15 years ago, when there was only a Falcon LV-which later became the Falcon 1 Musk proudly displayed on the Washington, D.C. National Mall in 2003. Forecasters are predicting an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather.
Martin Halliwell, CTO of SES, talks about flying their payload on a historic refurbished booster for the upcoming launch. "So in terms of the investment required, I would think it would be the most straightforward and the lowest investment".
The rocket was returned to Cape Canaveral, then trucked back to SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California, for thorough inspections and refurbishment.