professor Chris Welch
the International Space University’s aeronautics chief on recycling rockets
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.