SpaceX's final version Falcon 9 rocket can be launched 100 times

  • SpaceX's final version Falcon 9 rocket can be launched 100 times

SpaceX's final version Falcon 9 rocket can be launched 100 times

Elon Musk wants to increase the amount of fuel onboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets and fuel up after the crew is on board.

In spite of Falcon 9 being SpaceX's go-to rocket for launches, having accomplished several successful deliveries and landings, till now, they were all in their beta phase, notes a report by Cnet.

The launch will carry Bangladesh's Bangabandhu Satellite-1.

"It is the final substantial upgrade to the Falcon 9 design, although we may make minor upgrades as we continue to strive for rapid reusability and extremely high reliability".

Following a first stage engine test firing last week, the revamped booster's first flight is targeted for liftoff from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at 4:12 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) Thursday, the opening of a two-hour 10-minute window.

The Block 5 has a slew of upgrades, such as improvements to the rocket's heat shield, additional thermal protection coating to prevent heat damage upon re-entry into the earth's atmosphere and retractable landing legs.

The company also noted that its Dragon rocket is equipped with a "launch abort system" that can thrust the crew capsule away in the event if an emergency.

'Block 5 is being qualified for 10+ flights, but we'll continue to expand for more, ' Lambert said.

The SpaceX boss has said that cutting down on labor costs could also reduce the cost of each rocket, perhaps by as much as 30%. But SpaceX will first need to carry out at least seven launches of the rocket before NASA will give the OK for astronauts to climb aboard.

SpaceX has Mars in its sights.

SpaceX, which was founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is also the product architect of Tesla, chose to the keep the propellants on the rocket at super-cold temperatures to shrink its size and allow more tanks. SpaceX has re-launched 11 first stage boosters to date, but none have flown more than twice.

One of the most significant changes is the use of stronger high-pressure helium tanks, known as composite overwrapped pressure vessels, or COPVs, that are submerged in the rocket's liquid oxygen propellant tanks.

The payload fairings are clam shell-like nose cone halves that protect the craft's payload.

As expected, Musk has set out an aggressive timeline for when the BFR will be ready for takeoff. If everything goes well, the first BFR flights to Mars could lift off in the mid-2020s, SpaceX representatives have said.

'Although sometimes, my timelines are a little, you know.,' he joked. In 2014, both SpaceX and British aerospace company Boeing were awarded a shared $6.8 billion contract by NASA to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.