Do you ever see an airplane or spaceship flying across the sky? Do you know what airplanes and spaceships use and do in order to go to space or fly across the world? When a Spaceship (in particular) takes-off, they use rockets in order to 'lift' and carry themselves into space. When the actual spaceship has reached to the earth's atmosphere, while taking-off, there is no need for the rockets anymore, so there are these explosive bolts that separate the actual rockets from the spaceship. The rockets then drop back down to earth with a parachute, into the ocean and this causes them to NOT be able to be reused again for other departures.
Recently, the spaceflight exploration company, SpaceX, has been working on their reusable rocket method from spaceship departures. Basically, how SpaceX plans to make their rockets used for lift-offs reusable is to develop a plan for when their rockets drop down back to earth, they don't fall into the ocean, instead they want their rockets to return on their launch pad vertically, or on ocean landing sites.
SpaceX has two methods and goals in mind that they will approach for their reusable rocket plans. Now, SpaceX is currently working on some flight testing, but lately there isn't some accuracy landing. As in the phase of the beginning stages, SpaceX just wants to begin with their rockets landing on their boats and ship launch pads, and in specific, land completely standing in a vertical position. It seems like there has to be accurate precision from the rockets because they had to land in a difficult position in a particular spot and location. How is SpaceX controlling where they land? How do they know WHERE they are going to land? Are they using monitors and computers to know where the rockets land and at what speed coming from the sky?
The second plan that SpaceX has in mind is to have a springing mechanism, and they call it the 'Grasshopper Reusability Test.' Basically, the point of this second method is that the rockets attached to the spaceship will have the 'Grasshopper' mechanism somewhere around the bottom surface, so since the point of the rockets is to land in a position standing up, the 'springing' mechanism will touch the flat surface. The fact that the rockets have a 'springy' mechanism makes the rockets not be pushed and forced against the ground, so it is a safer landing, and will not damage the rocket, so it would e able to be reused. It seems like this method for being able to reuse their spaceship rockets will be the closest to become a possibility.
The main purpose why SpaceX wants to reuse their rockets is because according to Elon Musk on SpaceX.com, he clear states, “If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred. A fully reusable vehicle has never been done before. That really is the fundamental breakthrough needed to revolutionize access to space.” It seems like what Elon Musk is trying to say is that if they are able to reuse their rockets, then they can be able to afford more spaceflight explorations. Does it seem like their rockets might be a little bit pricey? After some research, one other possible reason why SpaceX would want to be able to reuse their rockets is because according to Space.com, spaceflight companies like NASA spend at least $500 Million per rocket launch. This makes more sense now.
In conclusion, it seems like SpaceX might come down to and end result to HOW they would want to reuse their rockets that were used in spaceship take-offs. There were two methods and plans that SpaceX had in mind, and it is factual thatches spaceflight company might be doing this possibly because they don't want to spend millions and millions of dollars on their rockets launches. Also, not ONLY because of the expensive amounts, but just like how Elon Musk stated, the less the rockets are, the more opportunities and chances astronauts get to go to space explorations. Maybe the next time we see or hear about a spaceship departure, will they possibly be using SpaceX's 'Grasshopper' mechanism, will the rockets STILL have the parachutes, or will they return to their ocean and land launching pads?
1) First image of U.S.Spaceshuttle courtesy of mrmyrtuesclassroom.com. 2) Image of Specshuttle departure courtesy of en.wikipedia.org. 3) Grasshopper mechanism image courtesy of SpaceX.com. 4) Spaceshuttle releasing rockets image courtesy of buran.su.