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Can SpaceX Really do a Fully Reusable Rocket?

Interesting bit from last week, on Space.com-

The private spaceflight firm SpaceX will try to build the world’s first completely reusable rocket and spaceship, a space travel method that could open the gates of Mars for humanity, the company’s milionaire CEO Elon Musk announced Thursday (Sept. 29).

A fully reusable rocket would dramatically decrease the cost of lofting cargo and humans to space, making the exploration and colonization of other worlds such as Mars more feasible, Musk said in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Musk did not guarantee success…

Full story…

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2 Responses to “Can SpaceX Really do a Fully Reusable Rocket?”

  • Astronautics_Student:

    Not with that configuration, he’s not. Why waste all the payload capacity of the rocket with a powered descent system, especially given how little the F9 can lift anyway?

    And I’d love to know how he expects to get 1000 uses out of it. Clearly, he has no idea what RP-1 and LOX can do to metals.

  • Ed Pell:

    He does not need 1000 uses. If he can get 10 reuses it will drop the cost by another factor of 10 in addition to the factor of 10 he has already delivered. $100 per pound to orbit will be fine.

    He will not lose payload. He will have to beef up each stage. 50% more fuel in each stage should give him same payload and fly back on all stages. Though for the second stage it is more like orbit back.

    If the nozzle experiences wear it will need to be designed thicker.

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