Remember SpaceX’s last launch? They wanted to land the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean. And, they nearly did it.
Yesterday, SpaceX uploaded a video animation of how it envisions future launches with the Falcon Heavy rocket system.
You can see how SpaceX eventually wants to bring back the rocket stages. Right now, they are testing them on a floating platform in the ocean. Once they nail that, they want to bring the rockets down to landing pads close to the launch area.
Here’s a bit of background on the rocket system. SpaceX plans the first Falcon Heavy launch later this year. When its boosters ignite on the launch pad, the thrust will be equal to eighteen 747 aircraft at the same time.
The Falcon Heavy will come in two payload configurations. For low-earth orbit, the Falcon Heavy can carry 116,845 lbs. That falls to 46,738 lbs for geosynchronous transfer orbit.
Eventually, Elon Musk wants to send people to Mars. A mission to Mars is one of the reasons the Falcon Heavy was designed. With it, SpaceX could send a payload of 29,101 lbs to the red planet.
SpaceX’s Next Landing Attempt
On February 8th, SpaceX will launch a space weather monitoring satellite for NOAA and NASA. During that launch, SpaceX will try landing the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket again. Elon Musk cited not enough hydraulic fluid for the reason the first attempted landing failed. The rocket will have plenty of hydraulic fluid this time around.
As close as SpaceX got to landing it the first time, I think second time will be the charm.