SpaceX is one of the world’s largest commercial space companies, and it often uses its own Falcon 9 rockets to take various things into outer space to orbit the Earth, whether it’s a satellite for a third-party commercial corporation, or it’s a cargo ship of supplies for the astronauts inhabiting the International Space Station.
Image Credit: SpaceX
While SpaceX very recently had a mishap with one of their Falcon 9 rockets exploding while it was at a standstill at the Cape Canaveral, Florida launch site, the company successfully demonstrated another launch in January after claiming they had fixed the problem with the help of the investigative squad from several US-based agencies.
Now, SpaceX wants to take things into full swing again, but not only that, they want to bring things to the next level by exponentially bumping up the launch frequency of their reusable Falcon 9 rockets to once every two to three weeks.
The news was originally broken by Reuters, which cited SpaceX’s plans to open a newly-built launch pad in Florida at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and use it for a number of the company’s several rocket launches. The information came straight from the mouth of SpaceX executive Gwynne Shotwell.
SpaceX was nearing a similar frequency last year, but the explosion in September really put things behind schedule for the company. When this new launch pad opens, it should enable SpaceX to start launching more frequently again, all while the damaged launch pad continues to go through reconstruction in the meantime.
Also helping in SpaceX’s additional launching endeavor is the fact that they’re utilizing a reusable rocket technology, which allows the company to slash a number of high costs that would normally be the result of so many launches.
By using a reusable rocket, SpaceX only pays around $250,000 to re-fuel an existing rocket every time they want to use it. This compares to $16,000,000 to build an entirely new Falcon 9 rocket for each and every launch.
SpaceX is able to cash in on a lot with these savings, when compared to what companies pay to have their satellites launched, so it’s not surprising that they want to increase the frequency of their launches. Given everything that has gone on as of late, the company could really use the financial boost.
The additional rocket launches, which haven’t yet come to fruition, will help to make space more accessible for third-party companies. While not set in stone, you can get SpaceX is crossing their fingers and hoping to make it happen.
In other news, more rocket launches also means more space junk, and a recent Japanese experiment to help clean up the space junk problem failed, putting mankind back to the drawing board in terms of dealing with this exponentially-growing issue.