SpaceX to Develop Reusable Launch System for Cheap Spaceflight, Mars Settlement
September 30, 2011 12:22 PM
Elon Musk with the Falcon 9
SpaceX founder Elon Musk hopes to send humans to Mars in 10 to 15 years
California-based space transport company
is looking to build a fully reusable orbital launch system that could make spaceflight more affordable, and eventually send people to Mars for permanent settlement.
Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, has mapped out a way for the Falcon 9 rocket to deliver a Dragon spacecraft to orbit, then return to the launch site by touching down vertically under rocket power on landing gear. At the same time,
would make a supplies delivery to the International Space Station and return from orbit to make its own landing.
Achieving a reusable space transport has been difficult because of the engineering challenges associated with such a feat, but many have tried because a totally reusable rocket would cut the cost of spaceflight. Traditional rockets can only be used once, and a Falcon 9, for example, can cost about $50 million to $60 million.
Over the past year, Musk and his team at SpaceX managed to solve the complexities that have stumped many before and even made an animation of how the plan could work, which is a 90 percent accurate depiction. They now hope to make the reusable rocket system a reality.
"Now, we could fail -- I'm not saying we are certain of success here -- but we are to try to do it," said Musk. "And we have a design that on paper -- doing the calculations, doing the simulations -- it does work. Now, we need to make sure that those simulations and reality agree, because generally when they don't, reality wins."
According to Musk, a Falcon 9 can cost about $50 million to $60 million, but fuel and oxygen for one launch only costs $200,000. So if the rocket can be reused, he said, around 1,000 times, the capital cost of the rocket per launch would only be approximately $50,000.
"If it does work, it'll be pretty huge," said Musk.
As far as long-term goals go, Musk sees the reusable rockets carrying settlers to Mars in an effort to "make humanity a multiplanetary species" in the event that something disasterous should happen on Earth.
Musk went on to suggest that spending a quarter of a percent of an annual gross domestic product of $14 trillion (which would be $35 billion annually) on space development and a focus on Mars-related missions. This sort of budget could drop the cost of Mars travel to $500,000 per person, he said.
According to Musk,
sending humans to Mars
could take as much as 10 to 15 years, and estimates that if the human population is at 8 billion at that time, that a minimum of 8,000 people could afford to travel to Mars.
Before launching humans into space, SpaceX capsules must first meet the safety standards that the
now-retired NASA Space Shuttle program
had to meet. This includes a launch escape system, which SpaceX capsules currently do not have, but reportedly will in about two or three years.
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
SpaceX Dragon Test Flight to ISS Scheduled for November 30
August 17, 2011, 12:07 PM
SpaceX Sets Sights on Launches, Dreams of Mars
July 16, 2011, 9:27 PM
Atlantis Blasts Off for NASA's Final Space Shuttle Mission
July 8, 2011, 11:29 AM
UPDATE: SpaceX Becomes First Private Company to Put Capsule in Orbit
December 8, 2010, 12:20 PM
PIQ ROBOTTM reveals its new artificial intelligence software
November 29, 2016, 12:59 AM
One more time - Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone Around the World
November 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Google’s Smart Contact Lens Project gets halted for 2016
November 20, 2016, 7:00 AM
Cell Research Study shows African Americans have greater immune response to infection
November 10, 2016, 1:00 AM
UTHealth Clinical Trial Shows Progress Using Stem Cells to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury
November 8, 2016, 1:00 AM
Uber Partners with Circulation to Pilot Program Connecting Transportation and Digital Health Care
November 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
What Can You Do with Your New Echo Dot?
December 3, 2016, 5:00 AM
Google has developed Deep Learning Algorithm to detect Diabetic Eye Disease
December 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Foscam R2 Home Security Camera System – High Quality High FHD Security Video Footage with No Monthly Fees
December 1, 2016, 2:00 AM
The iPlugmate is an Excellent iPhone Flash Drive at a Great Price. (Deal Expires in 3 Days)
November 23, 2016, 1:00 AM
Microsoft Surface – Which Surface is Right for You?
December 2, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
In The News
Dec 7, 2016, 5:00 AM
e Guide: Mobile Security for 2017
Dec 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Apple Car is Not Dead
Dec 5, 2016, 1:00 AM
Dec 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 3, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 2, 2016, 5:00 AM
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Dec 1, 2016, 3:01 AM
Chapeconense plane crash: Football rallies around Brazilian Team
Nov 30, 2016, 1:00 AM
How to Extends Your iPhone’s Battery Life
Nov 29, 2016, 12:49 AM
Nov 28, 2016, 1:12 AM
News: Fidel Castro
Nov 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nov 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Changes in Social status affect the way genes turn on and off within immune cells.
Nov 25, 2016, 5:12 AM
Austrian far–right hopeful Hofer may back EU vote.
Nov 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Final Fantasy XV Leaked Before Nov 29 Launch Date
Nov 23, 2016, 1:00 AM
Nov 22, 2016, 2:26 AM
Nov 21, 2016, 1:00 AM
HTC Makes Big Moves in China
Nov 20, 2016, 2:00 AM
Do you know who is the number one company in the word?
Nov 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Foldable Cardboard ”EcoHelmet” wins James Dyson Award’s Top Prize
Nov 18, 2016, 2:39 AM
Scientists Discover Roundest Object Ever Spotted in Universe
Nov 17, 2016, 1:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information