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SpaceX to Launch US Spy Satellites Using Recycled Falcon Heavy Boosters

The US Space Force is looking to do more heavy lifting for less.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Eric Mack has been a CNET contributor since 2011. Eric and his family live 100% energy and water independent on his off-grid compound in the New Mexico desert. Eric uses his passion for writing about energy, renewables, science and climate to bring educational content to life on topics around the solar panel and deregulated energy industries. Eric helps consumers by demystifying solar, battery, renewable energy, energy choice concepts, and also reviews solar installers. Previously, Eric covered space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
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Eric Mack
spacexfalconheavy2

Falcon Heavy takes flight from Florida.

SpaceX

In an effort to literally get more bang for its buck, the US Space Force has given Elon Musk's SpaceX the green light to use recycled rocket boosters for upcoming Falcon Heavy launches of US spy satellites.

Bloomberg reported Thursday that the Pentagon has certified the use of previously flown boosters in the Heavy configuration for sending classified military satellites to space. 

The military had previously approved the use of recycled Falcon 9 boosters. Military officials have also touted the savings of the used boosters for launching new GPS satellites. 

A Falcon Heavy is essentially three Falcon 9 boosters strapped together to provide maximum thrust for heavier payloads. There have only been three Heavy launches in total, and the most recent one was in 2019. 

At least four Falcon Heavy launches are on the SpaceX mission manifest right now, including three for the US Space Force. It's expected we could see one or two of those launches by the end of the year. 

SpaceX and the Space Force did not immediately respond to requests for comment.