pro­fes­sor Chris Welch

the In­ter­na­tional Space Univer­sity’s aero­nau­tics chief on re­cy­cling rock­ets

Australian T3 - - OPINION -

Re­sus­able craft will be vi­tal in the fu­ture. Get­ting a pay­load into space costs be­tween US$10,000 and US$20,000 per kilo­gram. Bring that down to US$5,000 or even US$1,000 and many more pos­si­bil­i­ties would be eco­nom­i­cally vi­able.

What SpaceX wants is to be able to launch a rocket and then re­cover ei­ther one or two stages. In­stead of fall­ing into the ocean ut­terly wrecked, it would be care­fully flown back to its launch­pad, dusted off and used again.

That’s what the Fal­con Heavy of­fers: a rocket ca­pa­ble of get­ting a lot of pay­load into space with­out de­stroy­ing a large amount of ex­pen­sive hard­ware in the process.

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