Is there any information available about, If first stage of Falcon 9 v1.1 will land as intended:

  1. How many times it can be used again?
  2. After which time it will be ready for launch?
  3. What need to be done to prepare first stage for second launch?
  4. How many financial economy will give the reuse of first stage?
  5. Also is there any other details about reuse of first stage?

I understand that, all above cannot be answered for sure before several first stage landings, but I think there should be some estimations about them.

  • $\begingroup$ It doesn't need to be relaunched so many times to be profitable. The difference between a third and a quarter is only 8%. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ @LocalFluff The launch is profitable even if there is no first stage landing at all. Actual numbers are quite interesting. Where that that "8%" came from, from SpaceX, your calculations, or other source. More information would be nice :) $\endgroup$
    – vasili111
    Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 9:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @LocalFluff - I assume you are caclulating 33% - 25% = 8%, but this is the wrong calculation. Going to 4 launches from 3 launches actually results in 33% more payload being delivered by the stage. 1 → 2 = 100% more, 2 → 3 = 50% more, 3 → 4 = 33% more. An 8% increase in payload delivered by the stage occurs with the 13th launch, 12 → 13 = 8.333% more. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 10:15

2 Answers 2


Most of these questions can only really be answered after the first time a successful first stage is landed. I suspect that at first, each first stage will be given a complete inspection, to ensure it is ready to go for the next launch. I imagine this process will last at least a few months. If the inspection passes, I don't believe anything is required other than a refuel, although I'm sure they will put it through it's complete testing regime.

I believe the target number of reuses for each first stage is around 10, although that number is subject to change.

Eventually, if the process is really nailed down, there will probably be minimal inspection, some kind of a test firing, and perhaps nothing more than that.


The current expectation is that the first landed F-9 First Stage will be taken to McGregor, TX for tear down and inspection. Depending on its state, it or the second landed stage will be taken to New Mexico, to Spaceport America in Mojave and used as the F9R-Dev2 style vehicle.

F9R-Dev1 was lost when due to control issues the vehicle left the allowed flight box and terminated in flight in Mcgregor, TX.

F9R-Dev2 was built but repurposed to be used for the Max Drag Abort at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. It is now delayed to post the first unmanned Dragon V2 flight, since the current Dragon V2 vehicle they intended to use is no longer considered flight representative. So they will refly the first unmanned mission as the Max Drag Abort mission.

The first landed stage will thus be used to test and develop the edges of the landing scenario further.


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