SpaceX expanding facilities in Florida for refurbishing used first stages


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Capitalism in space: SpaceX is proposing to expand its facilities at Port Canaveral for refurbishing used first stages.

It appears they need the approval for the work from the port’s Board of Commissioners, though I suspect this board will rubber stamp its approval as quickly as it can.

One tidbit from the story. SpaceX has so far recovered 13 first stages and flown two again. One (the first) has been put on display, which leaves 10 available for reflight. They plan to use two on the first Falcon Heavy launch. The remaining 8 are likely for sale (maybe 10 if the two reflown fly a third time), which explains the negotiations going on with Iridium and others.

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4 comments

  • Edward

    Robert,
    My recollection is that the Falcon 9 used in the May 6th 2016 launch underwent extreme stress on reentry, and SpaceX said that they would not refly it but examine the effects of the extreme stress on the rocket.
    https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/status-of-the-third-recovered-falcon-9-first-stage/

  • Edward: You are correct. My main point is that SpaceX’s supply of used first stages is growing, and they need to use them to make the whole process cost effective.

  • LocalFluff

    What’s the situation with the different versions? Will they re-fly anything lesser than “Full Thrust”?

  • Edward

    LocalFluff asked: “What’s the situation with the different versions? Will they re-fly anything lesser than ‘Full Thrust’?

    My understanding is that only Full Thrust versions were recovered. The Full Thrust version started flying in December of 2015, which is when they first successfully landed a Falcon 9. Thus, there is nothing prior to the Full Thrust version to re-fly.

    I cannot remember where I read or heard it, but SpaceX expects that the current version of the Falcon 9 is only suitable to fly three times, yet their next — and last — version, the Block 5, is expected to last a dozen flights.

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