SpaceX to slow upper rocket stages with “giant party balloon”

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the company will recover its rocket upper stages using a balloon.

The company aims to recover every stage of its rockets instead of just the first stage boosters, as is currently the case.

“SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon,” Musk said on Twitter.

A balloon would aid in slowing down the upper stage from orbital velocity as it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, by reducing the second stage’s ballistic coefficient.

Recovering the second stage of a rocket in addition to the first would allow SpaceX to reduce expenses and possibly reduce the price of launches.

Now read: SpaceX’s valuation now at $25 billion

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SpaceX to slow upper rocket stages with “giant party balloon”