The Falcon 9 rocket at SpaceX’s launch site at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. (Credit: SpaceX)

Later this month, a company called SpaceX is scheduled to launch its Falcon 9 rocket on a routine supply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). But if all goes as planned, this mission could herald the beginning of something decidedly not routine: the use of private, reusable rockets to service America’s space program.