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Could it ever be possible for Falcon 9 to lift off from its own "landing legs"? i.e. no strongback, no complex launch pad support, just land somewhere, get a new second stage and a tank of gas and off it goes?

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  • $\begingroup$ It looks like your question has been answered before. This happens once in a while, don't fret too much if it is closed quickly, and feel free to ask a new question. Welcome to Space! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 13, 2019 at 12:30

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No.

  • The landing legs are made to support a 30-ton empty stage, not a 600-ton full rocket.
  • The thermal loads on launch are much higher and would likely lead to damage on the legs.
  • The strongback is needed to fill the second stage tanks and to provide connections to the payload.
  • The launchpad is carefully designed to lead the flames away from the rocket. Just lifting off from a concrete slab would damage the concrete, and subject the rocket to more vibration (noise reflecting off the concrete)
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  • $\begingroup$ Suppose you only wanted to get off the ground (maybe to hop a few km to the launched, so you'd only need a moderate amount of fuel. Would that make a difference? $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2019 at 14:03

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