SpaceX launches the first Falcon 9 Block 5 at Kennedy Space Center on Friday, May 11, 2018.
The latest version of SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 Rocket took off from the Kennedy Space Center on Friday, bringing with it two years of reusability and the company's ambitions to bring people back Sending Earth Orbit
The 4:14 pm The launch of Pad 39A marked the premiere flight of the Falcon 9 Block 5 launcher and its ultimately successful mission to put Bangladesh's first geostationary satellite into orbit. Prior to the launch, company president Elon Musk discussed with reporters and explained how the new rocket should enable SpaceX to make reuse in the development of the next launcher more efficient.
The following is known:
Block 5 is the latest version of Falcon 9
It may not look like that, but the Falcon 9 family has been around for some time – June will be eight years after the first flight to be in 2010. Block 5, which according to Musk is probably the sixth version of the rocket, will be the last major overhaul. Its improvements are ultimately designed to provide reusability and reliability so the company can do more with less.
"This will be the last major release of Falcon 9 before BFR," Musk said while referring to Big Falcon Rocket BFR, which is under development and being built before being shipped to the Space Coast in Los Angeles Harbor. "Expect that this will be a cornerstone of SpaceX's business."
Musk expects Block 5 boosters to be launched ten times with little to no modernization between missions; With moderate work they could start up to 100 times. During these first 10 launches, Musk said the only necessary operations should be quick inspections and propelling.
Musk said another important aspect of the development of Block 5 is to ensure that it meets NASA standards for manned missions. This list contains thousands of items, but the rocket has to fly several times before it can be approved for manned flights to the International Space Station, which are expected by the end of this year or early next year.
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 block 5-Rocket takes off from Kennedy Space Center Pad 39A on Friday, May 11, 2018. (Photo: Craig Bailey / FLORIDA TODAY)
Increased Thrust: The nine Merlin main engines of the rocket produce now about 8 percent more horsepower than older Block 4 models, delivering an output of 190,000 pounds of thrust at sea level – that's about 1.7 million pounds of thrust for the entire vehicle.
New Black Components: The pure white The Falcon 9 has become a mixture of black segments of flame and water resistant felt, which does not require any paint. These black segments include the intermediate stage that sits between the first and second stages, a "track" that runs the length of the booster, and the landing legs.
Landing Gear Upgrades: The Four Landings The legs get a major overhaul for Block 5, and many of the features that were once outside have been moved inward. For example, the internal locking mechanism can now be easily opened and closed. Before, it took several hours to stow the landing gear after a mission.
Heat Shield: A new heat shield at the foot of the rocket provides improved protection for a windrow of components, as well as further flights before major renovations.
Titanium Grid Finns Now Standard: The dark-colored Titan Grid fins that control the booster during its descent back to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or a drone ship are now landing Standard for all Block 5 Falcon 9s. Previously, they were flown only on selected missions, such as in February on the first flight of Falcon Heavy. Musk said that each fin is the largest single piece of forged titanium in the world.
Fairing 2.0 now includes: Each upgraded Falcon 9 will be flying with a new, slightly larger fairing. The protective nose cone, which costs about $ 6 million, now includes hardware that allows SpaceX to someday recover it like a booster. Tests are being conducted on the West Coast to catch the halves of the halves with a gigantic ship-mounted net.
Octaweb upgrades: The Octaweb, a metal structure that carries eight engines around the mid-engine of the rocket previously welded. The structure now has bolted components so that it can be modified faster and more flexibly.
Load Fuel: Load Fuel Block 5s is faster as well – instead of starting 70 minutes before launch as in the previous block In 4 versions, teams load liquid kerosene and liquid oxygen at T minus 35 minutes.
Upgrades mean Improved Reusability
Musk has been comparing his company's efforts with the hunt for the aircraft industry for years. Just as Boeing does not build a 747 for each flight, Musk said SpaceX should not have to build a brand new rocket for every mission.  Reusing Block 5s 10 times or more should help SpaceX increase its margins on rockets, lower customer costs, and more access to space – all Musk needs for possible trips to Mars with BFR, according to experts  "This rocket is really designed to be the most reliable rocket ever built," Musk said. "That's clearly the intention."
Falcon 9 Price Breakdown and Discount
SpaceX was generally considered to require about $ 60 million per launch until Musk announced during the conference that the prices for one flight-proven boosters will fall by $ 50 million. Meanwhile, customers choosing a brand new version of Falcon 9 will see a $ 60 million price tag.
He has also cut costs: the booster itself costs about 60 percent of the cost; the second stage is 20 percent; the panel makes up 10 percent; and the start itself fills the last 10 percent. Fuel consumption, he said, is only about $ 300,000 to $ 400,000 "depending on how you count it."
Two launches in 24 hours?
SpaceX expects the Block 5 program to complete a total of about 300 missions prior to the launch of BFR in the manifest, but an increase in starting cadence is already under way: the teams are on their way to double double the previous year.
"SpaceX will launch more missiles than any other country in 2018," Musk added.
Musk also expects an important milestone in aerospace, which the Air Force will even promote as a major achievement, to occur next year when SpaceX launches, lands and restarts the same booster within 24 hours.
"That's going to be really remarkable to launch the same orbital rocket twice in a day," he said.
Contact Emre Kelly at email@example.com or 321-242-3715. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook on @EmreKelly.
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