Private spaceflight company SpaceX intends to scale new heights in the reusable rockets market with Elon Musk now revealing that the company wants to bring back the second stage of its new Falcon 9 Heavy rocket for reuse.
SpaceX has already revealed plans of debuting its new Falcon 9 Heavy rocket this summer if all goes well paving a way for itself for longer spaceflights. SpaceX claims that its Falcon 9 Heavy will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two.
While the company has already proved that it can not only land the first stage, or booster, of Falcon 9 but can also reuse it, there is much more cost savings involved if it can manage to bring back the Falcon 9 Heavy second stage. The first ever mission involving the recycled first stage came on Thursday that not only launched, but also landed successfully.
The next level – bringing back more of the Falcon 9 Heavy. Musk tweeted company’s plans of bringing home the second stage of Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. “Considering trying to bring upper stage back on Falcon Heavy demo flight for full reusability,” Musk wrote Friday on Twitter. Musk acknowledged that the odds of success are low, but SpaceX will take a shot at it.
SpaceX has for 15 years been honing the technology of powering its boosters back to careful Earth landings on solid ground and in the water. The goal is to make rocket parts as reusable as cars, planes or bicycles, Musk has said.
Reusing a first-stage booster rocket as was done on Thursday results in an estimated 30 percent savings on the cost of more than $60 million. If SpaceX also manages to reuse the second stage of the rocket, costs will drop even further.
A Twitter user asked if Musk could say what will be in the test payload. “Silliest thing we can imagine! Secret payload of 1st Dragon flight was a giant wheel of cheese. Inspired by a friend & Monty Python,” Musk answered.