SpaceX Fail? Great!

Congratulations are due to Elon Musk and his Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) for generating an amazingly cool explosion over Central Texas Saturday morning when an experimental Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) self-destructed after a launch anomaly. This temporary setback involved no risk to humans and followed an impressive number of successful tests on the path to dramatically lowering space launch costs via the development of a reusable launch vehicle.


While NASA’s space shuttle demonstrated that an orbital spacecraft can be reused, and at least two other commercial firms are developing exciting new vehicles that can be reflown, these systems dispose of nearly all of the hardware required to put them into space in the first place. By accepting the long-standing assumption of a single-use launcher, they are locked into a cold war paradigm where every orbital launch is a $100 million event. Only SpaceX has been pushing to completely redefine the economics of space by returning the first and possible second stage assemblies and engines safely back to Earth. If perfected, such a system could reduce the cost of launching payloads or astronauts by an order of magnitude.



Despite the recent failure of its Falcon 9 Reusable Launch Vehicle, SpaceX is firmly committed to reusing as much of the launch system as possible.  At $100 million per NASA Shuttle Launch, the new Falcon 9 system marks a radical departure for sending payloads into space. If SpaceX perfects its Reusable Launch Vehicle, the new launch system "could reduce the cost of launching payloads or astronauts by an order of magnitude.   I trust that AMSAT is listening and will, investigate lower cost launch vehicles.  A low-cost constellation of amateur radio satellites similar to the old IMARSAT system would do a lot for emergency communications and the promotion of amateur radio.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

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