Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Elon Musk explains Falcon 9 Block 5 which carried Bangabandhu-1

Elon Musk explains Falcon 9 Block 5 which carried Bangabandhu-1

Though Musk and other SpaceX authorities have actually consistently called the Block 5 the last style, Musk hinted that some small enhancements might still be made to the rocket. The Merlin motors on this very first version had 95,000 lbs of thrust for every first-stage motor and 92,500 lbs of thrust to the second-stage engine optimization.

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.

Eight minutes after the launch, a 16-storey booster that was the lower part of the rocket, successfully landed back onto a drone ship. "The key to Block 5 is that it's created to do 10 or more flights with no refurbishment between each flight".

While the first Block 5 Falcon 9 launch was a major event in and of itself, it was also responsible for carrying the first satellite for the government of Bangladesh - Bangabandhu Satellite-1 - into orbit. Currently, it is estimated that 60 percent of the cost of the Falcon 9 falls on the first tier, 20 percent to second, 10 percent for the fairing and everything else that is associated with the launch.

More news: Jason Witten Predicts Former Cowboys Teammate Dez Bryant Will Sign with Packers

According to Elon Musk, the Block 5 rockets will be able to fly up to 10 times with zero maintenance, and up to 100 times in total.

Ironically, the first zero-maintenance rocket is going to have to be torn apart to prove that it can fly again without intervention.

Musk said the Falcon 9's octaweb construction, used to encourage all nine first phase engines and supply compartmentalization if one or more neglects, is now much more powerful. Take the most recent launch of a "flight-proven" Falcon 9 first stage.

Making this happen won't be easy, Musk stressed, "because there's only so much work you could even do in one day, and a bunch of it consists of transporting the rocket from its landing site back to the launch site, mounting a new satellite on the rocket and loading propellant".

More news: Facebook suspends about 200 apps that may have misused data

While Musk's ultimate goal is a rapid turnaround for the Falcon 9, the technology isn't quite there yet.

Musk said the rocket's interstage features a hydrophobic thermal protection developed by SpaceX that is highly reusable and doesn't require paint.

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. SpaceX includes a contingency layout that would entail shifting from high-strength carbon fiber using an aluminum lining into the superalloy Inconel, but this is "unlikely to become mandatory", Musk said. "We plan to support on the Block 5 platform and have no significant upgrades".

More news: Iraq Election's results tests Iran influence in Baghdad

Like this: