On January 10, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will launch CRS-5 job, use the dragon-type spacecraft ISS cargo to perform routine tasks. However, for the vast majority of space experts and enthusiasts, the launching of more concern is the Falcon 9 rocket first stage sea recovery test, because this is really the first human test rocket recovery.
Whether there is no concern over the aerospace, high cost of space launch anyone probably have heard. SpaceX to launch cheap and famous, but look Shangguan net offer its launch, the main Falcon 9 rocket launch also a $ 56.5 million, is the conversion of RMB 350 million yuan. High cost of space launch, which restricts the development of the aerospace industry.
Is there a way to reduce costs? In fact, the cost of a rocket fuel only a small part of the navigation guidance and control, tank and rocket engines and other parts, is the absolute bulk. If a rocket can be reused, can greatly reduce costs. Engineers proposed the concept of reusable spacecraft, trying to reduce costs radically. But who would have thought that the road is so difficult and lengthy.
Early rocket recycling programs
Mankind enters the beginning of the space age, the passion of the engineers made one today looks very shocking scheme. General Dynamics rocket Nexus 1962, 122 meters high, 50 meters in diameter, a takeoff weight of about 24,000 tons, can be more than 1000 tons of payload into low earth orbit. Or a single stage to orbit design it uses. After Nexus rocket payload into orbit, the rocket re-entry and the overall drop to the sea, but also reduce the impact of using the recoil rocket splash when. After fueling the rocket, you can continue to invest in emission.
In a sense, Nexus today's Falcon 9 rocket is the first stage of recovery reentry maritime pedigree, even 50 years ago, the design, whether strong or transport capacity of the concept of advanced, better than Falcon 9 more high-end atmosphere on the grade! The only problem is that it's simply too difficult to develop, so now can not work it out, only Google's namesake phone Dahon world.
In the 1990s, the father of the space shuttle's Marcos Muller involved in the creation of the Kistler Aerospace Corporation (Kistler). Their pioneering K-1 rocket put the first stage low-speed separation, fly back to the launch site on their own, and reusable solutions balloon assisted parachute landing. K-1 has and SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 rocket was selected with the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS), but due to the progress of a number of factors such as excessive and eventually was replaced by Orbital Sciences Corporation. Since then, the Kistler Aerospace funding strand breaks, K-1 rocket is also aborted. source
George Muller was the hero of an era, Andy Herron • Musk undoubtedly contemporary Aviva. Musk believes that interstellar colonization is the future of human civilization and the survival of the key, and the ability of low-cost access to space, is the foundation of a large aerospace development. He believes that only reusable vehicles, is the future of human spaceflight. If he has his own Falcon 9 rocket, for example, cost $ 50 million rocket, but only $ 200,000 in fuel costs. By repeated use, in theory, can reduce the cost for the current 1%. He also released rhetoric, if not rocket quote now reduced to 1/20, even if his efforts failed.
Prior to say that, Musk's SpaceX developed in pursuit of a reusable vehicle. Falcon rocket design at the beginning, it was recycled parachute reserved position, and Falcon 9 rocket several times before launch, but also actively pursued the parachute recovery tests. But unfortunately, the Rockets lost contact after the first stage of re-entry. Analysis, when uncontrolled reentry overload great, yet deceleration parachute parachute down to the speed and height of the first stage of the rocket had been torn disintegrated. SpaceX later decided, for Falcon 9 rocket first stage increase air injection reentry attitude control system to maintain posture, firing rockets to fly back to the launch site of the first level again. But Musk did not copy the design of Muller, but to propose a new approach: the first stage rocket will be controlled vertical landing.