Ever since NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) founding, there have been many rockets built mainly because of one reason: rockets that had gone up to space were not reusable, leading to more money being used to build other rockets. Only recently has a space company, Space X–a company that deals with space transport and works with NASA–tried to change the concept of rockets.
According to TheVerge.com, Space X was able to successfully land its Falcon 9 rocket vertically on Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Dec. 21, 2015, after numerous attempts on land. Although Space X was able to land its rocket vertically on land, opening up the possibility of reusable rockets, it has had less success in landing the rocket on a floating barge in open waters. So far, Space X has made three attempts to land the rocket off of land, but according to TheAtlantic.com, the third attempt resulted in the rocket tipping over at landing, failing like the two previous attempts.
Space X has had its fair share of criticism, but not all view Space X with disdain. Although Space X has failed to land its rocket, Grant Regen, a Loyola High School sophomore who will be working at Gemini South Observatory this summer, told JSR that the concept of a reusable rocket will make an economic impact. He believes that the reason why we have not been able to colonize the Moon is because of the costs that have gone into building rockets. If the process of rebuilding rockets is eliminated, Regen believes that a lot of money will be saved.
“By not having to replace a rocket every time we do that, we can basically save a lot of the funds that would usually go into mission after mission,” Grant said. “We could do more space explorations with more money.”
Yet Grant also told JSR that a certain aspect of the new rocket might be criticized.
“One thing that might be criticized is that it wasn’t made by the public,” he said. “Now that space is being privatized, it’s making it into more of…a thing that can be bought by people, and space was never meant be like that. Space is meant to be open to everyone and not owned by anyone.”
Hopefully, Space X can work out the problems with the rocket and make interstellar transport more affordable, which might someday lead to affordable space travel for the public.