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SpaceX successfully recovers a first stage booster
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Author:  simonh [ Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:59 am ]
Post subject:  SpaceX successfully recovers a first stage booster

Of course to realise the benefits they need to be able to refurbish and re-use the stage, but apparently it accounts for about 75% of the cost of a launch. In any case the landing is a fantastic achievement.

SpaceX first stage landing

Simon Hibbs

Author:  simonh [ Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SpaceX successfully recovers a first stage booster

And now they have re-launched one of their recovered boosters and recovered it again. They hope to launch recovered boosters several more times this year and are ultimately aiming for a 24-hour turnaround time. Reload, refuel and go.

From a science fiction perspective, this and the planned 100% recoverable Mars Colonial Transport architecture open up possible futures that previously seemed unlikely or impossible. SpaceX ultimately aim to cut launch costs by 99%, so a basic satellite launch to LEO would be maybe $700,00 and a manned capsule launch might be a few million. At MCT scale the cost per kilogram to orbit might be under a hundred dollars. They're ultimately talking about $140 per kg for delivery to Mars!

I always assumed that a science fiction setting with the extensive development and industrialization of space, affordable space travel for ordinary people and private individuals owning and operating space craft would require ant-gravity technology or something frankly unfeasible IMHO such as beanstalk technology. That assumption is now dead and gone. We can have a future very much as depicted in Traveller, minus anti-gravity and maneuver drive tech. All we actually need is FTL to make such a setting work, much is the mold of 2300AD.

Simon Hibbs

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