Main Engine Cut Off

NASA Approves Use of Previously-Flown Falcon 9 Boosters

William Graham for

According to L2 coverage of extensive reviews, NASA has now cleared SpaceX to begin using flight-proven Falcon 9 vehicles to launch Dragon: CRS-13 will be the first mission to launch since this was confirmed, and will re-use the first stage of the rocket that carried CRS-11 to orbit earlier this year.

Huge news.

Insurance rates aren’t rising much (if at all) for flights with previously-flown boosters, the Air Force and the rest of the Department of Defense are very open to and actively working on certifying previously-flown boosters, and the extremely-risk-averse NASA has approved their use.

Getting through the bureaucratic red tape was one of the more recent goal post movements by reusability doubters. There goes that.

The biggest piece of work left for SpaceX is to get Falcon 9 Block 5 flying, and with it, prove out minimal refurbishment between flights.