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Reusable rockets at last!
They did it!  I'm not even going to bother to post a link, because it's all over the place.  Unless you've been living in a cave, you already know that both SpaceX and Blue Origin have now landed a rocket from space — and in last night's case, this is the first (and most expensive) stage of a large orbital launcher.  The era of reusable rockets is here.

This cost analysis shows that when Falcon 9 starts reusing its first stage, it will be about the same or cheaper than Skylon, even under the most optimistic projections of Skylon's cost.  And if they can make it fully reusable, it will be significantly cheaper.  And the Falcon Heavy, with reuse, will be substantially cheaper than that.

I've been watching space for decades, and seen a whole lot of nothing much going on... but I believe this is changing now.  It's important that we have not one but two companies that have now demonstrated reusable rocketry, and there are others in the wings.  They will be competing to lower prices, which opens up new markets, which increases flight rate, which lowers prices.  I think we will look back on 2015 as the tipping point.

But hey, that's just me.  What do you all think?

Joe Strout
Lead Developer, High Frontier


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