From now onwards, the company will fly only from The Block 5 which is the only Falcon 9. This Sunday morning, SpaceX was slated to launch its second Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket. If you don’t know about the Block 5, it is the most powerful and final version of the vehicle planned by the company. After successful launch, the company will try to land the vehicle on one of its autonomous drone ships in the Atlantic. Also, from now on, all missions by the company will utilize the Block 5. According to the company, the Falcon 9 Block 5 is optimized for constant reusability. It has undergone a number of improvements for making the land of vehicle easier after launch. Also, there are many upgrades to minimize the amount of renovation the rocket needs between several flights. According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the Block 5s will not require any major renovation for atleast first 10 flights and will be able to fly up to 100 times before its departure. Ultimately, the company aims to turn these vehicles around in just 24 hours after landing. The fastest achieved by the company so far is two and a half months.
LANDINGS TO BECOME FAIRLY REGULAR FROM NOW ON, AS ALL OF COMPANY’S MISSIONS WILL UTILIZE THE BLOCK 5
The first Block 5 was launched by the company in May to dispatch a communications satellite into orbit for Bangladesh. Since then, the company was using the previous version of the rocket, the Block 4, choosing not to recover those vehicles after takeoff. The Block 4s are reusable only a couple of times. So, the company decided to get rid of them before transitioning to the Block 5. Still, there are many improvements that the company needs to make in the Block 5. SpaceX should add some upgraded helium tanks in the vehicle, that are required to pressurize the rocket during flight. So, this must be done by the company before launching people on this rocket for the first time.
SPACEX STILL NEEDS TO ATTACH SOME UPGRADED HELIUM TANKS TO THE VEHICLE
The Block 5 will be used to launch NASA astronauts to the International Space Station as a part of space agency’s Commercial Crew program. So, SpaceX is expected to attach some upgraded helium tanks to the vehicle. NASA wants SpaceX to launch the Block 5 for atleast 7 times before people can ride on board for the first time. The first flight by the Block 5 didn’t include those helium tanks, so it won’t be included in these seven flights. After adding those tanks, the vehicle will get its crew layout. The first flight with those tanks will be demonstration flight for Commercial Crew. The company will be sending up an empty crew capsule to the International Space Station for demonstration purpose.
The Sunday morning’s rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, along with a communications satellite, Telstar 19 VANTAGE. The 45th Space Wing believed that there are 60 percent chances that weather will be favorable for the launch.
SpaceX successfully launched and landed its Falcon 9 rocket this Sunday morning along with the Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite. This is the 13th successful launch of the year by SpaceX and 26th successful landing of a Falcon 9 vehicle.