Monday, 19 November, 2018

Elon Musk says Falcon 9 is now 'most reliable rocket ever built'

SpaceX CEO explains technical specifications of Falcon 9 Block 5 Rocket which positioned Bangabandhu-1 to orbit SpaceX CEO explains technical specifications of Falcon 9 Block 5 Rocket which positioned Bangabandhu-1 to orbit
Herman Weaver | 16 May, 2018, 13:28

"I hope fate doesn't punish me for these words, but that is unequivocally the intent. And I believe our most conservative consumers would agree with that". Once the Block 5 Falcon 9 comes back from the autonomous landing ship, SpaceX engineers will have to take it apart to examine components and verify that it could fly again without maintenance. SpaceX has since worked tirelessly to redesign those stress vessels in collaboration with NASA so as to cover the agency's concerns about using this layout on after Falcon 9 commercial team starts.

These activities are part of the company's quest to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets and spacecraft, which Musk has said could slash the cost of spaceflight enough to make ambitious goals such as Mars colonization economically feasible. "It is nuts. I have personally gone across the layout; I can not count how many occasions". The leading engineering minds at SpaceX have actually struggled over this ... "I believe we're in a fantastic situation".

In future, SpaceX has a backup plan to switch out their carbon fiber tanks lined with aluminum to the "super alloy" Inconel - an alloy of nickel with chromium and iron- but that is unlikely to be necessary, he said.

"The word "block" is a little unusual. We type of embraced it from the Russians", he stated.

Musk said the all those nine Merlin motors used to power the Falcon 9's first phase finally have an 8% boost in thrust at sea level into 190,000 pounds-force. The Block 5 Falcon 9 reportedly has a lifespan of 100 launches with refurbishments required only once every 10 launches. The Merlin engines on that very first variation had 95,000 pounds of thrust for each first-stage engine and 92,500 pounds of thrust for the second-stage engine.

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The first stage of Block 5 rockets are created to be far more reusable than previous versions which so far have only flown twice before retirement. "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm that it does not need to be taken apart", Musk told reporters on a call before the flight.

"There will not be a Block 6", Musk said.

In comparison, the Block 5 Falcon 9 is twice as powerful as the Falcon 9 that first launched a demonstration resupply mission for NASA in 2010. Additionally, it is designed for simpler manufacturing.

"That is the design intent", he said. SpaceX has also received a unanimous approval from the Los Angeles Board of Harbour commissioners for building the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) Mars rocket. Although Musk and other SpaceX officials have known as the Block 5 the last layout, Musk suggested that some small improvements could nevertheless be made into the rocket. The single vacuum-optimized Merlin engine on Falcon 9's second stage has a 5 percent thrust increase to 220,000 pounds-force, he said.

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