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SpaceX will try 'giant party balloon' to recover upper rocket stages

  • Author:chinatopwin
  • Source:chinatopwin
  • Release on :2018-04-16


SpaceX ultimately wants to recover every stage of a rocket, not just the first, and it may resort to 
some unusual tactics to make that happen. Elon Musk has claimed that his company will try to 
take rocket upper stages out of orbital velocity using a "giant party balloon" -- yes, he knows it 
sounds "crazy." He hasn't shed more light on the subject as we write this, but we've reached out 
to SpaceX to see if it can elaborate.

If such a system works out, it could provide more than a few benefits to SpaceX. As of 2018, 
SpaceX estimates a cost of $62 million to launch a Falcon 9 rocket with a first stage landing 
factored in. If it can reliably recover the upper stage with a relatively low-cost method like a 
balloon, it can both reduce its own expenses and make launches more attractive to customers. 
Throw in the eco-friendliness (there's no dead stage plummeting to Earth) and it could easily be 
worth attempting to use a balloon, however ludicrous the idea might sound at first blush.