Falcon Heavy Launches Successfully, but What Does the Future Hold for SpaceX’s Giant Rocket?

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

spacex falcon heavy tesla roadster launch

SpaceX Falcon Heavy blasting off on its first flight – Source: Flickr / SpaceX

With much fanfare, SpaceX successfully conducted a test launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket. The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 3:45 p.m. EST (8:45 p.m. UTC) on February 6. Following launch, the Falcon Heavy successfully placed its payload, one of CEO Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadsters, into its intended orbit. Two of the three boosters also returned for a successful landing. The one small mark against the mission was the failure to land the core stage on SpaceX’s ocean barge. Continue reading

Reusable Launch Vehicles Remain Appealing

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

RLV-TD blasting off on 5-23-2016

RLV-TD blasting off on 5-23-2016

 

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched a reusable launch vehicle demonstrator, dubbed the RLV-TD.  The RLV-TD is a delta-winged spacecraft designed to lift off vertically and land horizontally.  Its reusability reduces launch costs. Continue reading