Retro Rocket

Buck Rogers

Buck Rogers operating a drone, Amazing Stories (March 1929)

SpaceX has been delivering cargo via rocket to the International Space Station, but that is old news.  What’s new is how the first stage will be retrieved for reuse: it’s going to land with spindly-looking legs on a tail of flame.  The first time, SpaceX will land the rocket in the ocean, but once the system is proven, the rocket will set down on land.  If someone wrote about such a rocket in a science fiction story today, you might scoff at the antiquated, Buck Rogerish idea.  “If SpaceX can create a completely reusable rocket, [a researcher] believes their prices will drop so significantly that it will put out of business any company that doesn’t keep up”.  Truth really is cooler than fiction.