SpaceX reached a new milestone recently when a Falcon 9 booster launched for the sixth time and then landed safely. How many more times can this booster launch? What’s the theoretical limit? And how much does it actually cost SpaceX to refurbish a Falcon 9 booster between launches and what does this process entail?
Over the years, Elon Musk has played with the idea of making Falcon’s second stage reusable but it never materialized. Sadly, development of this new method has been eventually abandoned. In this article, we aim to shine some light on Musk’s past statements about Falcon’s second stage reusability and explain why it is such a difficult task.
SpaceX is so much more than just Elon Musk, the company employs many other interesting people. Among the most recognizable are engineers who sometimes host the launch broadcasts. However, one of the truly key figures at SpaceX is Gwynne Shotwell, Chief Operating Officer and President of the company.
We’re bringing you another installment of our new series of articles about SpaceX and their canceled projects. This time we’ll take a look at the F9R-Dev2 test vehicle and SpaceX’s connection to Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Elon Musk’s companies often collaborate, share workers or even transfer technologies. I’ve put together a summary of actual examples of this cooperation. They mainly involve Tesla and SpaceX because they collaborate the most, but we’ll also look at OpenAI or the Boring Company. In some cases, the companies became intertwined so significantly that it led to real concerns.
We’re launching a new series of articles about SpaceX and some of their projects that never saw the light of day. One of them was crossfeed funcionality for Falcon Heavy. It is a unique way of fuel transfer between the side boosters and the center core of a rocket. It increases payload capacity but was never actually developed in practice.
Over the years, we’ve met quite a few webcast hosts who are all actual SpaceX engineers. John Insprucker is a fan-favorite, though. He currently works as the Principal Integration Engineer but he has actually spent his entire career working with rockets.
Elon Musk is the public face of SpaceX but there are lots of other extremely talented people at the company who sort of live in Musk’s shadow. One of them is Tom Mueller who was in charge of engine development at SpaceX during the most crucial years.
Elon Musk has claimed in the past that the extremely quick 24-hour Falcon 9 reusey might happen in 2017 or 2018. This was yet another one of his overly optimistic statements, because two years later, SpaceX seems to be far from achieving such a feat. So I thought about what it would take to reuse a booster in one day, what it might look like and what is preventing it from happening.