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Elon Musk Describes Improvements to SpaceX's Falcon 9 Block 5 Rocket

16 May 2018

The Stage 5 of the Falcon 9 is to be the last version of the rocket that has come to impress the world ever since 2010. "I think we are in a good situation".

" The word "block" is a bit weird". The only vacuum-optimized Merlin engine Falcon 9's second point includes a 5% push growth to 220,000 pounds-force, " he explained. "The secret to Block 5 is the fact that it is meant to perform 10 or more flights without a refurbishment between every flight". Previous launches of the previous version of the first stage took months to recover, and the Block 5 is not yet at its full potential.

Not only is this launch important for Bangladesh, this launch is monumental in SpaceX's development of their Falcon 9 rocket.

Hopefully, as time goes on, we see the Block 5 Falcon 9 pick up more and more speed in terms of relaunches - bringing SpaceX closer and closer to a 24 hour turnaround for their launches.

Previous iterations of the two-stage Falcon 9 have been reusable, of course; before Friday's mission, SpaceX had successfully landed 24 Falcon 9 first stages and reflown such landed boosters 11 times. It's likewise developed for much easier production.

Musk said the Falcon 9's octaweb structure, supports all nine first stage engines and provides compartmentalization in case one or more fails, is now much stronger. The octaweb is created with bolted rather than aluminum and has higher thermal protection to avoid melting, " he said.

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While Musk's ultimate goal is a rapid turnaround for the Falcon 9, the technology isn't quite there yet. Since then Falcon 9 has made numerous trips to space, delivering satellites to orbit as well as delivering and returning cargo from the space station for NASA.

SpaceX also updated the rocket's avionics, and so is maintaining the titanium grid, he explained.

According to Musk, the huge new rocket would be almost 350 feet tall and span 30 feet in diameter.

According to CNET, Elon Musk plans to fly several Stage 5 rockets for about 300 times before retiring and replacing them with the one he's really after, the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). The Falcon 9 formerly used aluminum fins for steering the Falcon 9 first point back to Earth, but SpaceX shifted those around the Block 3 into titanium following the aluminum fins caught fire through reentry.

" There will not be a Block 6", Musk stated.

Musk said the each of the nine Merlin engines used to power the Falcon 9's first stage now have an 8 percent increase in thrust at sea level to 190,000 pounds-force. "We intend to stabilize on the Block 5 platform and have no major upgrades".

Elon Musk Describes Improvements to SpaceX's Falcon 9 Block 5 Rocket