Before a recent “rapid unscheduled disassembly,” Elon Musk and his commercial spaceflight company SpaceX had a string of successful landings on a floating drone barge. The purpose of these landings was to prove that the first stages of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets could be recovered from just about any location on Earth and eventually reused. Doing so would dramatically reduce the cost of getting stuff into space.
So far, it looks like that dream is going to soon become reality. But how is the average space enthusiast supposed to relive this glory in potentia at home? With a drone and a pool.
In the video above, YouTuber ajw61185 shows off his mock-ups of the Falcon 9 first stage as well as the autonomous landing site. The stage is powered by quadcopter, and can even deploy landing gear. The barge, painted to “Of Course I Still Love You” perfection, is held in place by wires in a pool. Though there were many tipovers — as SpaceX has experienced first-hand — the drone is able to land on the mini-barge more-or-less perfectly.
The little pile of dust added to the barge makes the on-barge footage look nearly identical to the real landings too.
What do you think? Is this a suitable at-home way to relive the glory of a SpaceX landing? I know if I had the drone I might add a bit of gasoline and fire so that if I got it wrong something would blow up. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.