Following this morning’s SpaceX launch, news has broken surrounding the company’s need for a little more expansion off of Florida’s “Space Coast.” The company is seeking clearance for two new landing areas that are needed for an ambitious future attempt at landing three rockets simultaneously.
Falcon Heavy’s first launch, SpaceX, has successfully recovered five of its reusable Falcon 9 rockets since December of last year. With the two new landing pads, SpaceX is setting a goal to recover all three rockets after the Falcon Heavy’s first launch. While this might sound like an easy grant, there’s one major problem that could hold the landing pads back: noise complaints.
After this morning’s launch, 911 calls within the Cape Canaveral area reached a fever pitch, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel. While returning to the complex, a spent thruster sounded off with a sonic boom that could be heard throughout Central Florida. SpaceX issued a news release on Friday to let residents know about the potential for a sonic boom. With that in mind, the possibility of three earth-shaking booms (or one massive boom, depending on the time of landing) erupting overhead might not sound especially appealing to some residents of Central Florida. Residents have until August 3rd to file comments on the possibility of the landing pads.
Regardless, SpaceX seems optimistic about the landings pads’ approval. Founder Elon Musk mentioned the future possibilities for the landing pads on twitter earlier this evening:
The Falcon Heavy will launch with three boosters, and if all goes as planned, the boosters will be able to land safely and simultaneously with the addition of the two new landing pads. SpaceX intends to reuse the boosters for a future launch, as they have with their Falcon 9 rockets.