why launch from Puerto Rico?
(1)(A) its a American self governing territory with a democratically elected government.
(1)(B) its closer to the Equator that’s gives a larger payload to orbit
(1)(C) to the East and South of Puerto Rico there are islands that could host a first stage landing site for a reusable launch system; they are, (D) Virgin Islands(E), Anguilla(UK), Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe(France), Martinique (France)Dominica.
(2)(A) the existing con ops for SpaceX is to use 30% of the first stage fuel to return the stage to its launching point with a payload penalty,our con ops uses an inflatable hyper sonic decelerator to slow the first stage to a landing down range on one of the islands and to lower the 30% fuel penalty to the payload, EDIT; “that other wise would have gone to landing the stage propulsively back at the launch site”
So our idea lends back to payload some of the 30% fuel penalty and provides an extra payload margin do to the 20 degree latitude.
EDIT 29 July 2014 ; It Important to note this idea also works out of Vandenburg AFB by using the one of Channel islands as a landing site instead of a propulsive landing back at Vandenburg as is is being reported in the press this week.Indeed the idea works with out a inflatable hypersonic decelerator. https://www.
I wonder? how much fuel would be required to get the first stage to orbit? or could a Falcon heavy get its core stage to orbit with no payload? This becomes a in space vehicle.
Edit 15 July 2014
Paper from last year,
SpaceX Falcon heavy core stage placed into orbit idea as an in space stage! and being discussed here at NASASPCEFLIGHT,