Why risk damaging/destroying the OLIT?

Jan 11, 2022
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How long did it take SpaceX to perfect the Falcon 9 landings? Starship is "Hard, Hard, Hard, Hard..." and if in fact SpaceX is fully committed to a future of catching boosters and returning Starships, then why put the OLIT at risk of heavy damage or destruction during their development and practice catching efforts? Why put their only complex and expensive OLIT at risk? I admire their optimism but would it not be prudent to build a second tower just for landings? This tower would not have to be full height, it would not need a launch platform, it would not need the QD Arm, it would not need all the complex plumbing... etc. Until such time when the catching is perfected, would it be so inconvenient to catch it at a separate safe landing zone and transport it to the OLIT for stacking? ... Just a thought.
 
Dec 3, 2021
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I think the big thing is that it takes a couple years of continuous launches to discover what goes wrong during a landing, allowing the engineers to work out the kinks in the system.
 

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