This recycled Falcon 9 first stage booster had initially launched in April 2016 for NASA on the SpaceX Dragon CRS-8 resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) under contract for the space agency.
Furthermore, after the 156 foot tall first stage booster completed its primary mission task, SpaceX engineers successfully guided it to a second landing on the tiny OCISLY drone ship for a soft touchdown some eight and a half minutes after liftoff.
OCISLY had left Port Canaveral several days ahead of the March 30 launch and was prepositioned in the Atlantic Ocean some 400 miles (600 km) off the US East coast, just waiting for the boosters 2nd history making approach and pinpoint propulsive soft landing.
It thus became the first booster in history to launch twice and land twice.
Reflown SpaceX Falcon 9 soars to orbit with SES-10 telecomsat from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 6:27 p.m. EDT on March 30, 2017. Credit: Ken Kremer/Kenkremer.com
The Air Force and DARPA plan to have an improved hypersonic air vehicle by 2023.
* hypersonic weapons likely to be operational in the mid-2020s
* unmanned hypersonic spyplanes in 2030s
* recoverable hypersonic drones in the 2040s
Hypersonic weapons will be able to reach speeds of Mach 5 to Mach 10.
The US Air Force roadmap to for autonomy.