Economic Comparison of American Orbital Launch Rockets

via reddit

NASA girls make do

First thought: damn, SpaceX is blowing away the competition. Second thought: why would you say that. Why.

Space X is doing their best to make one of the most expensive component reusable.  When you can make so that only half of the machine needs to be replaced every time then the cost of supplying the launch vehicle goes down.

Yep. Have you seen the footage of them landing their rocket again after delivering the payload? I was watching the livestream of the most recent one and it is some sexy shit.

Its insane that they are using a barge as the landing spot.  That is just new levels of difficulty being added to the already lengthy issues of the autonomous stage recovery

They used the barge for their first few landings, basically because nobody would give them a landing spot on land. Now they’ve gotten a proper landing pad. And since the software they’re using to land the thing was desgined to where it would work on a goddamned barge, they do shit like gently touching down on the exact center of the pad with less than a centimeter error, after going through the atmosphere twice and most of the way around the world in the space of like 20 minutes.

I thought they use the barge because it allows them a bit more payload to orbit for a reusable launch?  They don’t need to reserve as much fuel to just slow down and land on a barge as they do an RTLS landing.

Also, notice the Delta IV Heavy is showing having only an 8/9 success rate.  That “failure” was only a partial failure, and that was a premature CBC sep which left the test payload in a lower than planned orbit.

The barge is used when a payload is to be delivered to geostationary orbit.

For LEO insertions (such as the cargo flights to the ISS) they’re able to return to the landing pad at Cape Canaveral.

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