Elon Musk took on Twitter Sunday night to announce a new recovery method for a SpaceX rocket higher level. A balloon – a “giant party balloon” to quote it directly – will carry a part of a rocket to a bounce house. Seriously.
If anyone else proposed this idea, they would be ignored, but Elon Musk recently managed to turn crazy ideas into reality.
It was only in 2012 that SpaceX launched and landed its first rocket and now the company is doing it with significantly larger rockets. And earlier this year, SpaceX made a surprise announcement while trying to use a high speed boat and a large net to catch some of the rocket. And it worked after a failed first attempt.
This is not the first time that a balloon has tried to be used to return a rocket. The legendary rocket company John Carmack attempted to use a ballute in 2012 to flip a rocket body and a nose cone. This did not work out as planned and according to officials at the time, the rocket made a “hard landing” around the Spaceport America property in New Mexico.
Just like SpaceX’s automatic landing rockets and its giant boat, the goal is to reduce the cost of launching rockets by reusing parts. It is unclear when this latest plan will be implemented, but SpaceX is likely to do so at least in the coming years.