Thursday, September 29, 2011
SpaceX Details Plans For Reusable Rocket
Hawthorne-based SpaceX is planning to build a fully reuable, orbital booster, which the firm says will be able to be returned to earth for reuse, CEO Elon Musk said at a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. According to Musk, the firm is looking to allow the firm's rockets to return to earth under rocket power, so that they can be easily reused. With the U.S. Space Shuttle fleet retired, SpaceX is hoping that NASA will turn to the company for not only resupply trips to the International Space Station, but also for manned flight. A reusable rocket would dramatically reduce the cost of a rocket trip to space. Musk had alluded to the quest for a reusable rocket in an interview with NPR Science Friday in August, saying that the "holy grail" of space is a "fully and rapidly reusable rocket", which would drop the cost of a launch by a factor of 100; however, the speech at the National Press Club is the first details on how the company plans to make that possible.