SpaceX to begin testing on Reusable Falcon 9 technology this year
January 11th, 2012 by Chris Bergin Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) will begin testing on a vertical propulsion landing system later this year, part of a long-term project to evaluate the potential of creating a fully-reusable version of their Falcon 9 launch vehicle. SpaceX believe a fully and rapidly reusable orbital class rocket would provide a critical breakthrough for the human race’s ambition of becoming a multi-planetary species.A Rocket Is For Life, Not Just For Launch:
SpaceX are currently closing in on the February launch of their third Falcon 9 flight, tasked with the historic mission to loft an unmanned Dragon spacecraft on a recently approved combined D2/D3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Should the spacecraft successfully pass both its D2 and D3 demonstration test requirements, Dragon will be the first commercial vehicle to dock with the orbital outpost.
The Falcon 9 launch vehicle, however, will not live to see the historic event, following its staging and return to Earth – at least for the First Stage (the second stage may conduct restart/reboost tests) - shortly after the ride uphill.
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