One question that has come up recently is: Can SpaceX rockets be reused? It was speculated that SpaceX could reuse their boosters up to 10 times each. SpaceX has achieved this feat a couple of times already, with booster B1049 currently the only booster behind B1051. But that’s not the end of the debate. SpaceX is working on ways to maximize the life of their boosters, and one way to do that is by testing them to destruction. But what is the cost of reuse?
Since the Space Shuttle ended its mission in 2011, SpaceX has flown more than 40 Falcon 9 missions into Earth orbit. The Falcon 9 made history when it launched a resupply mission to the International Space Station in 2012. In addition, the company has introduced reusability features, making it an important step towards sending humans into orbit from American soil. The launch manifest of SpaceX rockets is a great example of the diverse clientele SpaceX serves.
However, reusing a booster is not without its challenges. It costs more to launch the rocket and land it in orbit than to send it back to the ground. And the costs involved are high. The rocket is subjected to enormous forces during its flight, and it must undergo rigorous testing to survive the process. In addition to this, it must be re-fueled. Re-using a booster means that the payload will be much smaller than if it were launched on a single rocket.
After a test flight, SpaceX plans to fly its second and third booster. The third flight test vehicle was slated to fly at Spaceport America in New Mexico and reach altitudes of 91,000 meters or 300,000 feet. The test flight did not happen, however, and SpaceX moved on to another high-altitude testing program. They will now conduct controlled-descent tests of used boosters.
While SpaceX rockets are reusable, some companies do not. Blue Origin is working on a heavy-lifting rocket called the New Shepard. It is a reusable rocket, like the Falcon 9, and it can send payloads and people to the Karman Line, 62 miles above Earth. Meanwhile, Blue Origin has a rocket named New Glenn, which is named after astronaut John Glenn. Both the New Shepard and New Glenn are capable of transporting astronauts to space.
As of August 2018, SpaceX has recovered 21 first-stage boosters from previous flights. Six of them were recovered twice. By August 2018, they had landed 14 of their flights with re-used boosters. Moreover, a re-flight of the first-stage boosters is estimated to cost less than $10 billion per flight. This could greatly reduce the cost of spaceflight. The cost of the first rocket and the second stage would be equal to the cost of the reusable first-stage booster.
If SpaceX can use its re-launched boosters for GPS III satellites, that will save the country billions of dollars. Previously, the government insisted that national security satellites must be launched with new rockets. But that is no longer the case. Since SpaceX has successfully re-launched a used booster 38 times, the government is now open to this option. Besides, it is cheaper and safer.
Reusability is an important component of SpaceX’s Starship. It is necessary for the company to develop a cheaper access to space. The company’s high-tech rockets have suffered numerous failures before perfecting their performance. However, with the Falcon 9 rocket, the company is hoping to achieve full operational service by 2023. The Starship is the future of affordable high-volume space access. Its design allows for the deployment of large payloads, as well as large numbers of small satellites in a single launch.
The future of space travel is in your hands. Musk has proposed that humans will be able to travel between earth destinations in less than an hour. His BFR rocket can achieve a maximum speed of over 27000km/h. Can SpaceX Rockets Be Reused? And What’s Next? And Are They Reusable? Let’s find out! You’ll be surprised! If you’re curious about the future of space travel, don’t miss this opportunity!