As part of the process to gain federal approval for the simultaneous landing of its Falcon Heavy rocket boosters in Florida, SpaceX has prepared an environmental assessment of the construction of two additional landing pads alongside its existing site. The report considers noise and other effects from landing up to three first stages at the same time. After undergoing a preliminary review by the US Air Force, the document has been released for public comment.
First reported by NASASpaceFlight.com, the document offers some interesting details about the proposed launch and landing of SpaceX’s heavy lift rocket, which the company hopes to fly for the first time in the spring or early summer of 2017. After previously demonstrating the ability to land a single Falcon 9 booster, SpaceX also hopes to land the three first-stage boosters that will power the Falcon Heavy for potential re-use.
The company states this reusability as its rationale for the new construction—reducing the cost of access to space. “This purpose continues to support SpaceX’s overall missions for NASA and the USAF,” the document states. “The action continues to fulfill the U.S. expectation that space transportation costs are reduced in order to make continued exploration, development, and use of space more affordable.”
Source: Ars Technica – Technology