Mar 20 2015

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Spaceport America + SpaceX = Win

Spaceport America set for SpaceX reusability testing. When SpaceX successfully recovers a booster stage, that stage will be taken to Spaceport America for an additional test flight to help determine what on the booster will require refurbishing.

The next booster recovery attempt will be with the CRS-6 flight, tentatively scheduled for 10 April. The Good Lord willing and the seas don’t rise, and SpaceX will safely land that Falcon 9 first stage booster onto the ASDS. That booster will then be shipped to Spaceport America for a test flight. From that test flight, SpaceX is hoping to glean enough data so that the second booster that is safely recovered can be refurbished for a qualification testing.

The goal is to launch the first operational refurbished booster in late 2016.

And this is interesting:

These advances will then feed into SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which will be aiming to return three cores per mission. Technically, it has been argued, that returning all three cores from Falcon Heavy flights could result in the rocket becoming cheaper to operate than an expendable Falcon 9.

Holy freakin’ crap! A Heavy launch that operates cheaper than an expendable normal launch? That will completely upend the launch industry. SpaceX will become the Microsoft of the launch industry.

Things are looking up for Spaceport America. Hopefully Virgin Galactic will get their SpaceShipTwo up and running and things will really start clicking in New Mexico.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/20/4567/

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