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At the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, billionaire Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. test fired for the first time its large rocket system known as “Heavy.”

Whether or not that rocket will be the vehicle to put men on the moon again, as some experts predict, 12-year-old SpaceX can already claim one victory: It has drastically altered the economics of rocket science. If successful, Heavy will cut in half the per-pound payload price of sending objects into low-earth orbit.

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