Elon Musk’s SpaceX is already proving to be an amazing company, thanks to increased reliability of its rocket launches and now multiple successes in the landing and refurbishing of the Falcon 9’s 1st stage.
But Musk, speaking at the International Space Station R&D Conference in Washington, DC, told delegates that the ultra-speedy 24-hour rocket landing-to-reuse scheme was very definitely in the company’s planning and that there was already a technical path in place to achieve the aim, probably next year.
Musk added that SpaceX was also working hard on recovering the Falcon 9’s two rocket fairings. He said that they had succeeded in recovering one earlier this year and SpaceX was “quite close” to being able to land and recover these nosecones, which cost about $5 million – $6 million each. He added that these recoveries would happen this coming winter.
He also said that work on bringing back to Earth the rocket’s 2nd stage, which would take the complete system to 100 per cent re-usable. The 2nd stages, while not as expensive an element as the Falcon 9’s 1st stage, would significantly add to the commercial benefits for SpaceX’s revenue targets.