SpaceX successfully launches 'recycled' rocket for first time

The company's founder Elon Musk said the historic achievement marks a "milestone in space"

SpaceX successfully launches 'recycled' rocket for first time

SES-10 Launch - world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket

A previously used rocket has been successfully launched and retrieved for the first time ever.

Traditionally, rockets are scrapped after only one flight - but SpaceX has now achieved one of its long-term goals in successfully reusing one.

The aerospace company has been working towards reusing rockets to help drive down the huge costs of space travel and transport.

On their website, SpaceX explains: "The majority of the launch cost comes from building the rocket, which flies only once. Compare that to a commercial airliner – each new plane costs about the same as Falcon 9, but can fly multiple times per day, and conduct tens of thousands of flights over its lifetime.

"Following the commercial model, a rapidly reusable space launch vehicle could reduce the cost of traveling to space by a hundredfold."

The successfully 'reflown' Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Florida yesterday evening local time carrying SES-10, a commercial communications satellite.

Shortly after launch, the 'first stage' of the rocket landed on an unmanned spaceport drone ship - known as 'Of Course I Still Love You'.

Billionaire Elon Musk, who set up SpaceX, described the achievement as a 'milestone' that could lead to even bigger things.

He argued: "Rapid and complete reusability of rockets is really the key to opening up space and becoming [...] a multi-planet species, and having the future be something that's incredibly exciting and inspiring that we'll look forward to."