Yesterday at MIT’s AeroAstro Centennial Symposium, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said his company will make a first attempt to land the booster stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform during the upcoming ISS resupply mission. If the attempt is successful, the company plans to refurbish and reuse the booster stage, making spaceflight history and paving the way for a significant reduction in the cost of access to space.
“Before we boost back to the launch site and try to land there, we need to show that we can land with precision over and over again,” said Musk. “So for the upcoming launch we’ve got a chance of landing on a floating platform. We have a huge platform that is being constructed at a shipyard in Louisiana right now which is 300 feet long by 170 feet wide (90 by 50 meters).”