SpaceX to build interplanetary rocket in Los Angeles

SpaceX to build interplanetary rocket in Los Angeles

SpaceX to build interplanetary rocket in Los Angeles

SpaceX could soon use a "giant party balloon" and a bouncy house to retrieve the upper stage of a Falcon 9 rocket if billionaire Elon Musk has his way.

With the help of a balloon, a rocket's upper stage would land more slowly and safely back onto the launchpad. The upper stage is now the only major component of the rocket that the Hawthorne, California-based aerospace company has not tried to reuse in its pursuit of a fully reusable launch vehicle.

Previously SpaceX has only been able to recover the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket which contains the engine that provides the initial thrust needed to lift the rocket.

NASA payloads have also been delivered to the ISS time after time. So we shouldn't expect any party balloon antics from SpaceX for the TESS launch, but it's something we should keep an eye on for the future.

"We will not de-orbit the second stage, but we will basically kick it out", Koenigsmann said. "Can [definitely] be done, just about minimizing mass".

Upper stages of launch vehicles are a significant source of space debris, remaining in orbit in a non-operational state for many years after use. "Need to retarget closer to shore & position catcher ship like Mr. Steven".

Credit: NASA/Leif HeimboldCredit: NASA/Leif HeimboldCredit: NASA/Leif HeimboldCredit: NASA/Kim ShiflettThe Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is prepared for encapsulation inside the Falcon 9 rocket's nose shroud.

As of 2018, SpaceX estimates a cost of $62 million (£43m) to launch Falcon 9 and $90 million (£63) to launch Falcon Heavy.

SpaceX is now testing a system to recover the fairings of its Falcon 9 rockets. However, the company needed additional space for the massive BFR.

Musk's tunneling firm, the Boring Company, began selling flamethrowers online after the CEO teased the idea in a tweet.

Musk has referred to the boat as a giant "catcher's mitt".

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