SpaceX Gets Ambitious: Launching Rockets Every Two Weeks May Be ImpossibleBy Amanda Foster
With Elon Musk's vision for the future and SpaceX set to achieve great heights in space, anything is possible. But does that include sending out a rocket every two to three weeks?
SpaceX wants to launch a rocket every two to three weeks despite last year's launch pad explosion. With high confidence, SpaceX is looking at a tight operational schedule and aims to pick up the pace of its Falcon 9 launches.
With a two to three week schedule, SpaceX would need to rely on a new launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The original one at Cape Canaveral is still under construction after last year's dramatic explosion. January's launch was at California's Vanderburg Air Force Base. According to announcements, SpaceX is scheduled to finish the new pad sometime next week, as reported by CNET.
With that in mind, can SpaceX really handle the continual load? The CS Monitor describes SpaceX as ambitious. SpaceX Corporate President Gwynne Shotwell says that launching a rocket with the use of that time frame will bring Space Exploration Technologies closer to its goal of dramatically reducing the cost of space travel. For the tech company, this is entirely possible. They would need to not only repair the launch pads fast, but they would also need to modify the rocket's engines to increase performance and resolve safety concerns. The Falcon 9's turbo pump design will be changed to accommodate the new schedule and pressures.
This goes hand in hand with their goal of utilizing a rocket that can be used right away in rapid time. This reduces the cost of space access as well. Shotwell calls it a rapidly reusable space launch vehicle. This is also an attempt to regain its momentum because the company has a backlog of more than 70 missions. SpaceX is confident that it can do the impossible.
Missed the January launch? Here's a live stream clip from RT, below: