SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy launch could attempt upper-stage recovery

Elon Musk suggested Friday that when SpaceX does its first demonstration flight of the Falcon Heavy large payload rocket later this year, it might also include an attempt to return the upper stage back to Earth, according to techcrunch.

Ultimately, the goal is to make sure the upper stage on the Falcon Heavy is reusable, which is part of SpaceX’s plan to make Mars a viable target for repeat, return commercial spaceflight.

The Falcon Heavy test, which has been scheduled for some time now, is set for “late summer,” according to Musk. This is in keeping with the new 2017 timing, adjusted from late last year following delays resulting from SpaceX’s pre-flight launch pad explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket last September.

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