SpaceX Animation Shows Plans for Anticipated Reusable Rockets
In spite of the high-profile Falcon 9 explosion just two weeks ago, SpaceX is reportedly getting closer and closer to its goal of revolutionizing the spaceflight industry by successfully building reusable rockets. If they come to fruition, these rockets will safely land back on Earth after taking a sojourn in space. SpaceX created an animation of the prospective reusable rockets below:
Usually, when a rocket travels to space, most of its body is either destroyed or lost during the launch. SpaceX aims to change that by adding hypersonic grid fins to their Falcon 9 rockets, which would theoretically guide the rockets safely back to Earth without any significant loss of material. SpaceX's most recent test with a modified Falcon 9 rocket did not go smoothly, as their rocket spectacularly exploded while they were attempting to land it on a floating platform in the ocean:
In spite of this explosive footage, however, the test was not a complete failure. The rocket did, in fact, hit its target, which means that the navigating technology is functional. It exploded only because it hit the platform with too much force and at the wrong angle, but the technology as a whole has come far enough that SpaceX considers themselves to be "close" to developing fully functional reusable rockets.
If SpaceX succeeds in this endeavor, it would dramatically change the entire space travel industry. As of now, new and very expensive rockets need to be built every time a rocket is launched into space. If those rockets can simply be reused, then launch costs would be decimated, the money that was once used for building rockets could be allocated to other aspects of spaceflight research, and test flights wouldn't be nearly as risky, which would allow researchers to be more innovative and take more risks.