Latest in Gear

Image credit:

SpaceX drops plans to make Falcon 9 rockets more reusable

It's stepping up its BFR plans instead.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 17, 2018
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

SpaceX, Flickr

For a while, SpaceX has dreamed of making its Falcon 9 rocket as reusable as possible, and not just the first stage. Now, though, it's having a change of heart. SpaceX has scrapped plans to make the rocket's second stage reusable. Instead, Elon Musk said, it's focused on "accelerating" development of the BFR. Musk also teased a significant design shake-up, calling it "delightfully counterintuitive" and a "radical change" compared to the previous design.

Musk didn't say when he expected the BFR to be ready in the wake of the strategy shake-up. In March, SpaceX aimed for early orbital launches by 2020.

It's not completely surprising that SpaceX might shift focus. The company's ultimate aim is to retire Falcon 9 in a few years once the BFR is ready. It would be pouring resources into a rocket whose shelf life could be quite limited by the time it's truly reusable. BFR, meanwhile, represents SpaceX's long-term future. What the spaceflight firm loses in near-term cost-cutting and waste reduction could be worthwhile if it speeds up the arrival of a long-term solution.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Texas Instruments makes it harder to run programs on its calculators

Texas Instruments makes it harder to run programs on its calculators

View
Space Station receives the last of NASA's science racks after 19 years

Space Station receives the last of NASA's science racks after 19 years

View
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 leaks hint at giant screens and S20 Ultra features

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 leaks hint at giant screens and S20 Ultra features

View
Formula E racer disqualified for using an esports ringer in a virtual race

Formula E racer disqualified for using an esports ringer in a virtual race

View
Astronomers spot a strange, first-of-its-kind asteroid near Jupiter

Astronomers spot a strange, first-of-its-kind asteroid near Jupiter

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr