Re: floating back to terra firma using three parachutes
But on Earth based launch and landing the "rocket equation" shows that more fuel is needed to lift the stage with the fuel to land than a parachute. So environmental damage and waste of resources twice, launch and landing.
Just use passive technologies such as parachutes for the launcher. It works for the capsule.
Gosh. Better write to Musk. His team of engineers must never have thought of that!
The F9 on launch weighs ~500tonnes. The Stage 1 dry mass is ~22tonnes. You don't need all that much fuel to bring it down (if you did, it wouldn't be commercial feasible - which is obviously is). As for environmental damage - you're burning one engine for a few seconds in its lowest throttle position. Somewhat different to all 9 engines at max throttle for (almost) the entire ascent phase.