SpaceX Rocket To Mars Will Be Built In Los Angeles: Where, Exactly?

SpaceX founder Musk speaks at a press conference following the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in Cape Canaveral

While Musk has admitted he knows the plan sounds "crazy", he hasn't shed more light on the subject, only noting that a balloon would drop the stage's ballistic coefficient - the ability to overcome air resistance during flight - and preserve its shape while travelling at different speeds.

The Elon Musk-founded company landed its first Falcon 9 booster back on Earth in 2015, after years of development.

SpaceX might use a "giant party balloon" to retrieve rocket parts after a launch, according to CEO Elon Musk.

SpaceX, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne, already uses the Port of Los Angeles for missions that recover Falcon 9 first-stage boosters on a floating platform in the Pacific and when it recovers supply capsules that parachute into the ocean after missions to the worldwide space station. Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and COO, said in a statement. They use grid-like fins for stability during re-entry, perform engine burns to slow down and carry landing legs that fold out just before touchdown. Yet they can not equal a landing using a giant party balloon, according to Musk. SpaceX is there to collect the payloads via its Falcon 9 rockets.


The company has also reused two of its uncrewed Dragon cargo ships to deliver NASA cargo to the International Space Station (one of them is in orbit right now) and is actively trying to capture the payload fairings - or nose cones - that shroud and protect satellites and other payloads during launch.

"We will not de-orbit the second stage, but we will basically kick it out", Koenigsmann said.

Musk gave few details about how or when SpaceX might attempt to use a big balloon to recover an upper stage. Musk has called it a "catcher's mitt" in boat form.

Ultimately, SpaceX will have around 200,000 square feet of space for working on BFR in the Port, though it won't be limiting itself to that space.

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