The goal of the test was to evaluate the four main parachutes, but this test did not include the "drogue chutes" the full landing system will utilize. The aim is for the spacecraft to splash safely into the ocean carried down by parachutes to reduce its speed. Eventually, SpaceX intends for the spacecraft to land upright on solid ground by utilizing eight SuperDraco propulsion engines. SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral in December. Earlier this month, a SpaceX Falcon 9 exploded upon landing on a drone ship.
After that though, the stage will become a display piece. "I think we will keep this one on the ground for tests that prove it could fly again and then put it somewhere — just because it is quite unique," Musk said.' Since they already have a satellite company, SES, willing to buy that first stage, this only underlines how this last Falcon 9 launch changes everything. I don't think the change has sunk in with most people, yet. The last launch was not a one-time event. SpaceX intends to recover as many of its first stages as it can in all future launches. Their Falcon 9 first stage is no longer expendable. Thus, they can afford to put this first recovered stage on display because they expect all future first stages to fly again.
"The Falcon 9 experiences major temperature changes during its flights, as well as intense pressures and vibrations from the winds in the atmosphere. These all produce wear-and-tear on the vehicle's hardware — meaning the rocket might need repairs and updates before it can launch again." This kind of refurbishing is why the Space Shuttle ended up being way more expensive than expected. Fortunately, the Falcon 9 is not nearly as complex.
This is now the true test of SpaceX's design talents; if the rocket is built to be durable, then repairs and replacements could keep relaunch costs very low indeed. Steve Poulus, a former NASA project manager, suspects final costs could be driven below a million dollars. That figure would give SpaceX the capability of easily underbidding any competitor for government contracts, not to mention bringing it into affordability for any number of companies who'd like to put a satellite in orbit.
They want Volkswagen's money to go into manufacturing plants and R&D for zero-emission technology rather than to government-mandated fines. (Note that these investments would give Musk, in particular, another direct competitor.) The letter says, "In contrast to the punishments and recalls being considered, this proposal would be a real win for California emissions, a big win for California jobs, and a historic action to help derail climate change. The bottleneck to the greater availability of zero emissions vehicles is the availability of batteries. There is an urgent need to build more battery factories to increase battery supply, and this proposal would ensure that large battery plant and related investments, with their ensuing local jobs, would be made in the U.S. by VW."