The recent SpaceX failure could have been easily avoided by using a cheap simple device they could have figured out in a few minutes by using Predictive Innovation.
The goal of landing the rocket vertically is both to reuse the rocket on Earth but also to develop the ability to land and return from the Moon, Mars, or asteroids to be mined. So they don’t want to only avoid damaging the rocket during landing, they want to build a rocket that is flexible enough to take off, land, and take off again on a wide range of surfaces. A lot can be learned from failures but there is no point destroying the rocket just to learn a little more.
What is the cheap simple solution for SpaceX?
The solution is like a large basket ball hoop over the landing pad. The rocket would land the same way and in the same place but first go through the hoop. The hoop should be large enough to not interfere with positioning and landing but small enough and high enough to catch the rocket if it tipped over. This protects the rocket from smashing on the landing pad and exploding. It would also allow all the data to be collected to learn how to land without the hoop. At the point the rocket falls over the experiment failed so nothing new can be learned. No point in risking damage to the rocket after the lesson is learned.
There is even a similarly cheap & easy way to use this concept for landing on uncharted territory such as Mars. I know that Elon Musk likes using first principles to innovate. The first principles of information is the basis of Predictive Innovation. Elon, give me a call, I also have a patented way to make solar panels for $0.25 / kW and a way to turn eWaste in to precious metals and plant food using 1/10th the energy of other less environmentally friendly systems.
P.S. This offer isn’t exclusive to Elon, unless he calls me first 😉
P.P.S. I can also help your organization with your seemingly impossible problems with a 100% guarantee.