Their real motive is simple: Cost.
Also eleven times, these rockets have been reused.
But SpaceX isn't into that model.
Credit: NASA/Leif HeimboldCredit: NASA/Leif HeimboldCredit: NASA/Leif HeimboldCredit: NASA/Kim ShiflettThe Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is prepared for encapsulation inside the Falcon 9 rocket's nose shroud. However, the company needed additional space for the massive BFR. Most of the time, the rockets utilize various methods of making a landing that does not destroy them in the process.
During its first Falcon Heavy launch in February 2018, the firm landed two of the firms side boosters simultaneously on separate launchpads. There were widespread reports that the company was looking to drastically expand its operations at the location. That said, the company has released some vague information about its financials. Yet the tweet from Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, said it all. Analysts have mused that using refurbished rockets could lower this launch price by some $20 million - or more.
Mr. Steven is a ship equipped with a net and giant metal arms to catch falling Falcon 9 payload fairings.
But SpaceX believes its greater ambitions - to visit and set up shop in far-off parts of space like the moon and Mars - also requires reusability. It's a technology that NASA has eyed for years. In 1969, NASA spent over half a billion dollars on four launches of the Saturn V rocket (not including many other missions costs), which today is the equivalent of more than $3.7 billion.
Two SpaceX Falcon Heavy boosters make a simultaneous landing after launching the first Falcon Heavy rocket into orbit on February 6, 2018. This bottom portion of the rocket contains nine custom-built engines. Where in the crowded city will SpaceX build a rocket that will be taller than the Statue of Liberty?
And it appears Musk is thinking about using a "giant party balloon" to take the upper stage of his rocket (which is created to operate at high altitude and carry the payload) out of orbital velocity and slow down its landing back on Earth - onto a bouncy castle. If you can ignore the silly "party balloon" reference, this might be a realistic goal.
It is meant to serve all purposes, from missions into Earth orbit and out to the moon and Mars.
But for those that choose to journey to those desolate, freezing, inhospitable worlds, there may be comfort in knowing there's a way back home.
"We're going to try a few approaches", Musk said.