SpaceX just successfully landed its most powerful rocket yet


Not only is it the most powerful version of the Falcon 9, it's also the most highly reusable model, and it's going to be the rocket that takes humans to space for NASA. SpaceX is anticipated to build several rocket cores in the next 5 years for 300 missions. "I expect fate does not punish me for all these words, but that's unequivocally the aim. And I believe our most conservative consumers would agree with that".

"Our goal, just to give you a sense of how reusable we think the design can be - we intend to demonstrate two orbital launches of the same Block 5 vehicle within 24 hours, no later than next year", Musk said during a prelaunch teleconference with reporters on Friday. SpaceX blamed "a standard ground system auto abort" for halting the countdown 58 seconds before liftoff. It started its very first journey on May 11 by taking the Bangabandhu-1 to space.

In September 2016, a Falcon 9 exploded during preparations for a static fire test and destroyed a telecom satellite for Israeli fleet operator.

SpaceX tracked the cause to liquid oxygen at the top phase tank which has trapped between the COPV overwrap and lining and sparked either from friction or alternative mechanics. "It's nuts. I've personally gone over the design; I can't count how many times". The very best technology minds at SpaceX have agonized over this ... "I believe we remain in an excellent scenario".

Musk said the COPVs now have a burst pressure "more than twice what they are actually loaded to on the pad".

"The word "block" is a little odd".

SpaceX engineers may squeeze another 2 percent of extra thrust out of the first stage, and another 5 percent from the 2nd phase as compared with the Block 4, he stated. This launch will be flown by the first "Block 5" booster, the 7th and final iteration of the Falcon 9. The Merlin engines on that first version had 95,000 pounds of thrust for each first-stage engine and 92,500 pounds of thrust for the second-stage engine.

Eight minutes after the launch, a 16-storey booster that was the lower part of the rocket, successfully landed back onto a drone ship.

"In principle, we can refly Block 4 likely upwards of 10 times, but with a reasonable amount of work involving every flight", Musk said. "The secret to Block 5 is that it's developed to do 10 or more flights without any fix in between each flight. The one thing which must change would be to reload propellant and fly".

Falcon 9's octaweb structure that supports the all nine first stage engines is now a bolted structure instead of welded, easing manufacturing and inspections.