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The competition heats up: The website SpaceFlightNow takes a close look at SpaceX’s effort on the next Falcon 9 launch on December 16 to recover the rocket’s first stage.
Musk estimates a 50% chance of success on this launch. Though I think his estimate is reasonable, I also think that this number is a testament to the skill and success of his company. Imagine: in less than three years, since Musk first proposed the idea of landing the first stage vertically, they have come so close to doing it! NASA certainly couldn’t have moved that fast. Neither could most of the experienced launch companies like Arianespace, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, or Russia.
Instead, it takes a new company, a fresh outlook, and freedom to change the world. Who would have guessed?