SpaceX demonstrates a reusable first stage

My guess is this will prove to be a historic milestone – from the perspective of future historians studying how humans evolved to be a multi-planetary species. I’ll stick my neck out to speculate that in 10 years major component reuse will be the norm.

I love good engineering! Yes I know that landing the first stage 1 out of 3 tries isn’t good enough. But isn’t it remarkable that SpaceX succeeded in only three attempts? How many more launches before they are achieving 80% success? That’s most of the cost-savings right there. Sure 100% will be nice someday.
 
Think what it would cost to fly to the South Pacific if Air New Zealand threw the Dreamliner away at the end of each flight:-)

3 thoughts on “SpaceX demonstrates a reusable first stage

  1. On FaceBook James says: “Interesting to me is that this is, in reverse, is what we need to get on and off Mars. Mars missions so far have been soft crash landings”.

    Elon Musk is more optimistic than I am about humans living on Mars. But he’s thought a LOT harder than I have on the subject. Anyhow instead of commanding robots from earth with 10-20 minute lags, how about the scientists/robot drivers orbiting Mars, controlling a fleet of surface robots?

    Not sure how to manage the radiation challenge for humans. Converting an asteroid to the earth-mars-return ship is the best option I’ve though of. A meter of rock will work.

  2. Space-X kudos! I was rather amazed just how fast the booster dropped in for the pin-point landing! Though extremely impressive I still wonder whether some kind of super-lightweight para-glider concept back to launch site is the easier and cheaper way to go outside of a true single stage shuttle system. Be interesting to match up this accuracy with what the military has in its ICBMs.

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