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Gen. John Raymond: Air Force Could Mull Space Launches With Reused Rockets

Gen. John Raymond, head of Air Force Space Command, has said the U.S. Air Force could consider a launch of spacecraft with reused rockets once the technology has been validated, Defense News reported Thursday.

Valerie Insinna writes Raymond said at the Space Symposium that cost factors could drive industry toward the use of reusable rockets in the near future.

“I don’t think we can say we won’t follow suit… we will make sure we do it in a smart way, and as this materializes we will make sure that we have the processes in place to do it safely and securely,” Raymond added.

SpaceX deployed a Falcon 9 rocket with a reused lower stage in March to launch a communications satellite into orbit.

Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, told forum audience during a speech Wednesday the company aims to recover and refly a rocket within a 24-hour period, Insinna reported.

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