Six years ago SpaceX had launched its Falcon 9 rocket just twice and fished pieces out of the ocean after each mission. Nevertheless, the company’s founder, Elon Musk, decided it was time for a big public reveal of his plans—a fully reusable launch system to significantly lower the cost of access to space.
“Now, we could fail,” he said, during a September 2011 event at the National Press Club, transcribed at the time by CollectSPACE. “I’m not saying we are certain of success here, but we are going to try to do it. We have a design that on paper, doing the calculations, doing the simulations, it does work. Now we need to make sure those simulations and reality agree because generally, when they don’t, reality wins.”
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