Dragon is also designed to be reusable, and SpaceX is modifying it to carry crew as well as supplies. The company hopes NASA eventually uses Dragon to launch its astronauts to low-Earth orbit. The country has lacked this capability since NASA's space shuttle fleet retired in July and currently depends on Russian Soyuz vehicles to provide this taxi service.
Musk did not say when he hopes the reusable rocket would be operational, or how much its development would cost. But SpaceX is going to give the enterprise its best shot.
"We have a design that on paper — doing the calculations, doing the simulations — it does work," Musk said. "Now we need to make sure those simulations and reality agree because generally, when they don't, reality wins."
- The Falcon and Dragons of SpaceX
- SpaceX: Fully Reusable Rockets in the Works
- Spaceships of the World: 50 Years of Human Spaceflight
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