back to article SpaceX's used flight-proven rocket to loft Euro satellite this year

European satellite operator SES will trust its latest hardware to a SpaceX Falcon rocket that has already made it into space once. The refurbished rocket first flew in April, delivering nearly 7,000lb (3,175kg) of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station and then landing on the floating sea barge Of course I …

  1. vir

    Gwynne Shotwell

    A rather appropriate name.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Coat

      Re: Gwynne Shotwell

      and on successful relaunch that would be Gwynn Shotverywell.

      Mines the one with the Austin Powers DVD in the pocket.

    2. Adrian Tawse

      Re: Gwynne Shotwell

      Nominative Determinism.

  2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    "Certified Ore-Owned"

    ...is the correct term.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Certified Ore-Owned"

      Certified Pre-Owned?

      If so, that's not the correct term because the booster isn't being purchased, it's being rented. Kinda like one of those U-drive moving vans. Except that it delivers and comes back by itself.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: "Certified Ore-Owned"

        Nonono you're supposed to say

        "Pre-loved"

        in a sugary voice.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Certified Ore-Owned"

        > Certified Pre-Owned?

        Prowned?

  3. Nolveys Silver badge

    This is pretty cool stuff. Not only do I look forward to access to space becoming significantly cheaper, but reusing components will bring design and manufacturing defects to light that would not have been noticed otherwise.

    Kudos SpaceX, you're a shimmering light in the black, dismal swamp that is modern civilization.

  4. choleric

    Overswung pendulum

    Funny how they avoided saying using "used" so much that they said "flight proven" about a rocket that is anything but precisely because it has flown once already.

  5. Francis Vaughan

    Space Shuttle

    Title says it all.

    Why exactly the snide comments now?

    Flight proven is precisely correct. Until the hardware has flown a mission you don't know it if it has any residual flaws that only come to light when a full mission is flown. How many would be happy taking off in an airliner if told it has actually been delivered on a truck from the factory and this journey would be the first time it had ever taken off?

    1. jzl

      Re: Space Shuttle

      Bingo. The shuttle gets a free pass from commentators talking about the dangers of reusing rockets.

      I assume there's some sort of psychological reason for that - the Shuttle had wings and looked a bit like a plane, after all.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Space Shuttle

        To be fair the Space Shuttle wasn't all that re-useable. It needed a brand new external tank, the solid boosters had to basically be completely rebuilt, and the Shuttle itself had to go through months of work to make it ready to fly again. The SSMEs (the shuttle's main engines) had to be completely removed and rebuilt between flights.

        The Falcon 9 is actually more re-useable than the Shuttle ever was.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Space Shuttle

          Not to take away the re-usable slant on this, but so far, they have lost more "NEW" space vehicles (of all types) than re-usable (in any form) so there are good odds on "Flight Proven" parts being better than unknown new ones, no matter how good the testing regime

        2. cray74

          Re: Space Shuttle

          The Falcon 9 is actually more re-useable than the Shuttle ever was.

          At this point, I'd have to split hairs about that since the Falcon 9 isn't recovering its upper stage yet. The Shuttle, for all its hangar queen antics, did recover most of its first stage (the boosters) and the most expensive bits of its second stage (the orbiter).

          The Falcon 9 is, however, on its way to better reusability if Musk doesn't waver from second stage recovery plans.

        3. jzl

          Re: Space Shuttle

          Indeed.

  6. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    I've got a guy called Han here

    He's asking me to explain this concept of a "new spacecraft".

  7. Malc
    Trollface

    SpaceX - making Orbit cheaper

    ...because I for one would prefer to go up in a certified 'new' rocket.

    Would you trust a 2nd hand parachute? (One previous owner, slight blood-staining)

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: SpaceX - making Orbit cheaper

      I use one about 30 weeks of the year. Frequently gets replaced mind you depending on condition and flights (it's a paraglide the, but same goes for people skydiving)

    2. Francis Vaughan

      Re: SpaceX - making Orbit cheaper

      Really? You would trust a parachute that has never been used versus one that has proven it has no defects in manufacture? Never come across the term "infant mortality" in failure analysis? The most common time for something to fail is when it is used first.

      Somehow there is this strange idea that rockets are intrinsically single use. Yet the problem with re-use isn't their design, it is that it is hard to get them back economically. Aircraft are not single use, nor is your car. Why should a rocket be?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: SpaceX - making Orbit cheaper

        > "Aircraft are not single use, nor is your car. Why should a rocket be?"

        That attitude may have something to do with the extreme flame coming out the back end. That sort of thing tends to be associated with catastrophe for most vehicles, particularly aircraft.

        1. Francis Vaughan

          Re: SpaceX - making Orbit cheaper

          So long as you don't let the flame catch up with you, all is well. If it does, you probably won't be going into space today.

        2. oldcoder

          Re: SpaceX - making Orbit cheaper

          Except for the fact that MOST commercial aircraft have "flame coming out the back end".

          It is called a "jet engine".

    3. cray74

      Re: SpaceX - making Orbit cheaper

      ...because I for one would prefer to go up in a certified 'new' rocket.

      Well, Francis Vaughan, there's a partial answer to your question about people interested in flying on un-flown, newly-built airliners.

    4. cray74
      Unhappy

      Re: SpaceX - making Orbit cheaper

      Would you trust a 2nd hand parachute? (One previous owner, slight blood-staining)

      In light of recent events, I might wait until the third or fourth flight.

  8. Morrie Wyatt
    Go

    Flight Proven

    So the launch should be a guaranteed success then.

    There's enough spin in that phraseology that they can use it as a backup gyro.

    1. Donkey Molestor X

      Re: Flight Proven

      ...enough hot air in that phraseology that they can use it for a RCS thruster?

      ...enough waffle in that phraseology that they can use it for a grid fin?

      wakka wakka

  9. Tikimon Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    There's an extra knuckle-biting element to this one

    Rocketry in general still can't offer an assured and precise outcome every time. However, if this one fails, the naysayers will pounce on it and declare the whole concept a failure. Which will be quite unfair if that happens.

    Please please please let this one go well!

  10. peterkin

    Anyone want to buy some "flight-proven" beer?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Once beer has taken flight it's difficult to get it back in the bottle.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Re-use should improve reliability.

    Throwing away the 2nd stage every time (and they are going to do so for the foreseeable future) not so much.

    The $64(m) is will their price cut be big enough to increase demand for services, so called "price elasticity."

    Some think 30% will be enough. Some don't.

  12. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Pint

    wanted a 50 per cent discount on the flight price

    Phew, that was asking a lot. Surely all they really needed was a reduction in cost by the extra the insurers are sure to charge and, say, another 20% off since the 1st stage is, as someone mentioned further up, "pre-loved".

    If it all goes horribly wrong, then they get the insurance payout and since this is rockets we a re talking about, you alway work on the assumption that it might go bang in the wrong place and have a plan B ready for another, later launch attempt with a new payload.

    On the other hand, if it all goes well, the whole world is going to be watching and no doubt the commentators will keep on mentioning the SES satellite that was the first ever successful launch on a "flight proven" rocket.

    Whatever happens, I shall be watching with bated breath and pint or two of the fizzy brown stuff.

  13. EddieD

    Bugger

    There seems to have been an issue.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37247077

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