【SpaceX全新火箭:可重复使用100次】

【SpaceX全新火箭:可重复使用100次】美国东部时间5月10日,美国太空探索公司(SpaceX)将发射最新的“Block 5”猎鹰9号火箭,马斯克称其是SpaceX主力猎鹰9号火箭的'最后一次更新',相比之前其他型号火箭,它具有更好的着陆控制和推力,且最多可重复使用100次,而非“一次性使用”。据了解,“Block 5”在发射回收后,经检测即可送回发射架准备下次发射,可极大地降低发射成本,同时最终还承载着将宇航员送入太空的任务。

SpaceX prepares to launch its first 'Block 5' Falcon 9 rocket that could be reused 100 TIMES and eventually carry astronauts to space

  • SpaceX is about to move one step closer to launching astronauts into space
  • On Thursday, it is set to debut 'Block 5', the 'last version' of the Falcon 9 rocket
  • Tech mogul Elon Musk has called the Block 5 the 'final iteration' of SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, as it's equipped with more thrust and reusability
  • The Block 5 will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4:12p.m.

 

Elon Musk's rocket company is about to move one step closer to launching astronauts into space.

SpaceX is set to debut the latest and most advanced version yet of its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, called the Block 5, on Thursday.

It will be just another routine launch, but should serve as a proving ground for the Block 5, which Musk has referred to as the 'finished version' of its reusable Falcon 9 rockets.

Unlike previous Falcon 9 iterations, the Block 5 is made to last for a long time -- and for good reason, because if all goes well, it could be used to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.

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SpaceX is set to debut the latest and most advanced version yet of its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, called the Block 5 (pictured), at 4:12p.m. (ET) from the Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX is set to debut the latest and most advanced version yet of its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, called the Block 5 (pictured), at 4:12p.m. (ET) from the Kennedy Space Center

The Block 5 will take off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, with the two-hour launch window opening at 4:12p.m. (ET).

Atop the Falcon 9 rocket will be the Bangabandhu 1, Bangladesh's 7,700lb communications satellite.

Bangabandhu 1 will provide broadcasting and telecommunication services to rural areas, as well as deliver direc-to-home television programming across Bangladesh.

If the launch goes as planned, it will be a promising sign for SpaceX's wider plan of conducting manned missions with rockets that can be reused up to 100 times in a single lifespan.

 

SpaceX, which conducted a successful static test fire of the Block 5 earlier this month, said the rocket has numerous upgrades from its predecessor, the Block 4.

It has stronger landing legs, better landing control and is completely reusable.

The plan is to launch the first stage 10 times without needing refurbishment, just some minimal inspection before returning the rocket to the launchpad.

After it completes 10 flights, the Block 5 will be inspected and repaired, then used in 10 more flights.

With any luck, the rocket can be reused up to 100 times.

However, Andy Lambert, vice president of production for SpaceX, pointed out in a Reddit post that an upwards of 10 times is probably more achievable for now.

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

By comparison, SpaceX's Block 3 and Block 4 rockets have only been able to fly a second time after undergoing refurbishment.

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.

Pictured is the Falcon 9 Block 5 on Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center ahead of its maiden static test fire on May 4. The rocket is set to blast off on Thursday afternoon

Pictured is the Falcon 9 Block 5 on Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center ahead of its maiden static test fire on May 4. The rocket is set to blast off on Thursday afternoon

Elon Musk has referred to Block 5 as the 'finished version' of its reusable Falcon 9 rockets. It has even more powerful thrust, landing control and retractable legs 

Elon Musk has referred to Block 5 as the 'finished version' of its reusable Falcon 9 rockets. It has even more powerful thrust, landing control and retractable legs

Musk in 2016 described the upgrades as 'significantly improving performance & ease of reusability'.

The ultimate goal is to cut down on the cost of rocket launches without having to build a new rocket for each mission.

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%.

If they cut down on the cost of each rocket, that could enable SpaceX to complete launch missions more often.

And the savings could be applied to SpaceX's development of the BFR, or 'Big F***ing Rocket', according to the Verge.

SpaceX just received approval to build the BFR at the Port of Los Angeles, further setting in motion Musk’s plan of making humans a ‘multi-planetary’ species, and one day developing a colony on Mars.

SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship (pictured) delivered materials to the International Space Station and is expected to return supplies to earth later this month

SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship (pictured) delivered materials to the International Space Station and is expected to return supplies to earth later this month

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5711195/SpaceX-set-launch-Falcon-9-rocket-carry-astronauts-International-Space-Station.html


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