A mere month after successfully landing its orbit-capable first stage booster rocket on land, Space X is already hard at work preparing for its next feat. No stranger to making waves in the aerospace industry, Space X’s next project involves landing a rocket on a drone ship. The general idea behind this project is the same as their previous one except that instead of touching down on land, the company will attempt to land their Falcon 9 rocket booster on top of a remotely controlled ship. The ship itself will resemble a small aircraft carrier platform, with almost the entire area of the ship dedicated to landing space.
Like a number of their other rocket landing projects, Space X will take advantage of one of their NASA contract launches in order to test out their new project. Space X is unique in that they already have a number of NASA contracts, which in turn allows them to frequently test rocket capabilities and make any necessary improvements in a timely manner. If successful, this newest project will to immensely increase both the safety and cost efficiency of rocket recovery logistics. Space X aims to lead the way when it comes to reusable rocket technologies, and recovering first stage rockets in-tact is the first step in this process.
"As Devin Coldewey at NBC news explains "Having a mobile landing platform means more flexibility in when and how launches can proceed – it's not always convenient or possible for a rocket to return to a static site like a launch facility or other suitably flat, empty space. A mobile landing site could conceivably be placed where it is safest or most fuel-efficient for the rocket to come down."
If this project is a success, Space X will have created the foundations for a highly efficient method of launching rockets.
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