In the future, SpaceX won’t have to intentionally crash some of its rockets. Falcon 9 rocket which is delivering an EchoStar satellite as soon as January 30th will use the company’s last rocket that is expendable, revealed Elon Musk himself. Falcon 9 will burn through too much fuel for its first stage cause at 5.4 imperial tons the satellite is simply too heavy. Future plans for Tesla is to use higher performance Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy that will have no trouble with the weight issue. Musk said the new Falcon should be able to lift off by the end of 2017.
The new aim
This doesn’t mean that there will be no other expendable rockets in the future for the company. But it does represent a significant milestone for SpaceX. The aim of SpaceX is from now on is to bring the vehicle back at least with missions to Earth orbit. This will be a huge money saver for SpaceX and it will also help normalize private spaceflights by making reusable rockets the rule, not the exception.
Only the start
SpaceX is still not at that point where rockets might last for years as Ars Technica observes that “SpaceX isn’t expected to reach full reusability where it can fly a rocket as many times as it likes until Falcon 9 Block 5 arrives.” Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin already made multiple flights but it was able to achieve it because of its smaller, simpler design and less ambitious flights. This is only the start, so many more exciting news lies ahead for private space programs.