'Challenge Accepted:' SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Agrees To Make Falcon Boosters Support 42 Missions After Retiring Booster That Launched Intuitive Machines' Lunar Lander

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Sunday said that the company will work towards reusing the Falcon 9 rocket’s boosters and fairings for 42 missions each after an X user challenged him to it.

What Happened: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the European Commission’s Galileo L12 mission to medium earth orbit from Florida on Saturday. The mission was the 20th and last flight of the first-stage booster that supported the mission.

The particular booster, SpaceX said, launched about 200 spacecraft as part of its rideshare program, supported 13 Starlink missions, and even sent Intuitive Machine‘s lunar lander to the Moon.

“In total, this Falcon delivered 228+ metric tons to Earth orbit and beyond,” SpaceX said.

The company is now working towards making its Falcon boosters capable of supporting 40 missions each, the rocket manufacturer said. “Increasing Falcon’s flight count provides valuable information on repeated reuse, a critical element for making life multi-planetary with Starship,” SpaceX wrote on X.

However, an X user chimed in to say, “Look, if you're not going to 42 you're not even trying.” The user, Eric Berger, is a rocket enthusiast and editor at technology news website Ars Technica.

“Haha true! Challenge accepted,” Musk responded, hinting that the company would now attempt to make reuse possible for 42 missions.

Why It Matters: Musk's SpaceX is attempting to make its rockets reusable in an attempt to bring down the cost of spaceflight.

In July 2023, Musk warned that rocket manufacturers will need to go all-in on reusability or risk being uncompetitive.

"Rockets are no different from other transport technologies, just harder to make reusable. No one would buy a single-use airplane, car or even bicycle! You'd need to tow another car just for the return trip," Musk then said.

Check out more of Benzinga's Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read More: After China, Tesla Announces European Tour For Cybertruck Despite Sales Being Limited To US

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