Balloons and bouncy houses are not just for kids anymore.
In a series of tweets, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called out the popular party accoutrements as components in his plan to reuse rocket parts after a launch.
“This is gonna sound crazy, but… SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon,” Musk wrote. “And then land on a bouncy house.” Although his choices might sound ridiculous at first, there’s actually scientific rationale behind the whole thing: a balloon can help safely stabilize and slow down the discarded rocket part even at high speeds. And the bouncy house provides a soft landing spot for the it to fall into once it reaches earth. SpaceX has proved itself to be interested in reusing its rocket pieces as often as it can, and this plan is just one more way to turn space travel into a more efficient affair.
The next SpaceX launch is planned for Monday night, assisting NASA with setting the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite into motion on its two-year journey to find exoplanets that we might want to spend more time exploring.
SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 15, 2018
In the meantime, people are excited about Musk’s festive approach to space travel.
Can we rsvp and attend said balloon party?!
— Shira Lazar (@shiralazar) April 16, 2018
This is asking for trouble. Where there are bouncy castles, there will be wayward children in the range. pic.twitter.com/ZUxXDvWiux
— Chris B – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) April 16, 2018
And some want to help out, too.
If you're proposing what I think you are, an ultra low ballistic entry coefficient decelerator, then you and @SpaceX should come see what we have at the @UofMaryland . We've been working on this for awhile and just finished some testing pic.twitter.com/nJBvyUnzaK
— Quinn Kupec (@QuinnKupec) April 16, 2018