Before this, rockets could only be used once, that has changed

Russian Pacific Fleet submarines during Navy Day celebrations in Vladivostok

SpaceX inspected and refurbished the first stage for reuse, breaking the normal paradigm of rocket launches in which spent boosters are jettisoned and disposed in the ocean.

The booster's main section then separated from the rest of the rocket and flew itself back to a landing pad in the Atlantic, where it successfully touched down for its second at-sea return. He said SpaceX will conduct as many as six more launches with used rockets in 2017.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy is a heavy lift rocket which would open up a whole new group of potential customers for the private launch provider.

Billionaire Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) flew a rocket that had previously been in orbit out to space and back again - a key milestone in cutting flight costs and enabling people to one day live on other planets. SpaceX also may try to land the rocket's upper-stage section, a feat the company has never attempted. "It is extremely important to retain, for more than just the purposes of prestige, the status of a great space state, which has to correspond totally with new work, new ideas and new technology", he said. Currently, millions of dollars' worth of rocket parts are jettisoned after each launch.

The goal is to make rocket parts as reusable as cars, planes or bicycles, Musk has said. It lists the cost of a Falcon 9 ride at US$62mil (RM274mil) but has not yet announced a price for flying on a recycled rocket.

"DARPA facilitated the first SpaceX launch, and now commercial space is coming into its own". Business magnates, including Mr Musk and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, are racing to turn rocket reusability - once derided as a insane idea - into a reality that will dramatically reduce costs.

Afterward, an elated Musk said the event marked the first re-flight of an orbital-class booster.

The towering machines that actually propel the cargo into Earth's orbit.

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