SpaceX pulled off quite a feat by landing a Falcon 9 rocket for re-use. Then it did the same thing again earlier this week. Now it’s ready to take on a much tougher challenge: landing three rockets at once.
The Elon Musk-owned company says it plans to fly the Falcon Heavy, which requires three rocket boosters, later this year. That means three separate landing spots for a carefully orchestrated landing. The rockets could touch down within minutes, or even seconds, of each other if SpaceX can pull it off.
Can't wait to see all three cores of Falcon Heavy come back for landings! First two will be almost simultaneous. https://t.co/ryMiewZM4L
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 18, 2016
“We are also seeking regulatory approval to build two additional landing pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,” the company said in a statement (via The Orlando Sentinel). “We hope to recover all three Falcon Heavy rockets, though initially we may attempt drone ship landings at sea.”
SpaceX has already requested federal permission for the new landing pads along Florida’s Space Coast, and the public can respond to the request until August 3. The company’s previous landings have caused some sonic booms that alarmed nearby residents, but we hope that won’t be enough to block SpaceX from moving forward with its ambitious plans.