The new Block 5 which is the latest version of the Falcon 9 Series is believed to take rocket reusability to a new height. It started its very first journey on May 11 by taking the Bangabandhu-1 to space. It made a perfect trip to the space making Elon Musk the owner of SpaceX a very proud man.
In the prelaunch conference, Elon Musk said that his company has the plan to reuse Block 5 within 24 hours. The design of the rocket has been made in such a manner that they can showcase two orbital launches of the same Block 5 within a day itself. According to Elon Musk, it will be a pretty job because there will be a considerable task when a rocket comes back. The work involves shifting the missile from the landing site back to its launch site, launching a new satellite on the rocket and also loading the fuel.
Previous to the launch of Block 5 Falcon 9, SpaceX has successfully landed 24 Falcon 9 first stage rockets and lifted off such missiles 11 times. All these activities are done to enable the company to reuse and refuel the missiles with minimum time to spare. Such efficiency in reusability will bring in cost-efficiency within the company. Such economies of scale will, in turn, help the company to work hard towards the dream of colonization of Mars.
However, as of now, there has been a significant gap between the booster landing and the subsequent take-off. It is quite imperative that the amount of experience and the expertise that SpaceX and its staffs have gathered during these years have made them much stronger regarding reusing space rockets in quick succession. Also, the up gradation in term of the latest version of the Falcon 9 will further enhance the reusability features.
These updates which are embedded in the newest version are “grind fins” which are made up of titanium in place of aluminum. Such an amendment will help booster to steer itself back down to Earth for pinpoint vertical touchdowns.
The new fins are believed to withstand temperatures to the extent of 1000 degree Celsius, and they do not require any replacements or maintenance during the flights which are also a great achievement. The heat shield which was initially a problem is also replaced with high-temperature titanium structure I order to sustain rapid reuse.