SpaceX is asking US government permission to take-over two extra landing pads at the Cape Canaveral Air Force rocket base so that it could – if it wished – return three rocket boosters to Earth after launch. It already has one dedicated landing platform at the Cape, plus a floating barge (named “Of course I still love you”) for ocean landings.
SpaceX’s founder, billionaire Elon Musk, tweeted on July 18th saying that he is “really tempted” to re-design the upper stage of the Falcon ‘Heavy’ rocket and making it suitable for landing, and recovery, and additional to the 1st Stages which are now almost routinely being recovered..
The official line from SpaceX is: “SpaceX expects to fly Falcon Heavy for the first time later this year,” the company said in a statement in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper responding to questions. “We are also seeking regulatory approval to build two additional landing pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. We hope to recover all three Falcon Heavy rockets, though initially we may attempt drone ship landings”.
SpaceX has successfully landed 5 of its Falcon-9 first stages, but the potential plan now seems to attempt to recover more of the giant Falcon ‘Heavy’ rocket and its 3 booster stages.