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Home / Science / SpaceX has flown its last block 4 version of the Falcon 9 rocket [Updated]

SpaceX has flown its last block 4 version of the Falcon 9 rocket [Updated]



Enlarge / SpaceX launches NASA's TESS mission in April 2018. This booster can fly again on Friday.

Friday on update : The Falcon 9 rocket left Florida on schedule on Friday morning and put its Dragon probe into good orbit. Following this primary mission, the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket will now undergo an advanced four-orbit mission before returning to Earth. This experimental flight should help demonstrate the ability of the upper stage to perform a direct introduction into the geostationary orbit.

The next launch of SpaceX should be in three weeks. Original post : When SpaceX launches its 15th replenishment At the International Space Station mission, possibly already on Friday morning at 5:42 ET (09:42 UTC), the company is planning the block 4 for the last time Version of his Falcon 9 rocket.

The next two launches in July were already known to fly on the last and probably last revision of the Falcon 9 rocket – the Block 5 variant. But during a press conference on Thursday, Dragon Program Manager Jessica Jensen confirmed that there will be no block-4 flights after the space station's approaching launch.

The Block 5 version of the rocket Optimized for reusability, it flew once when it was successful in May. Since then, SpaceX has completed its inventory of the previously flown rockets. The booster, which was scheduled for Friday, launched on April 18, just over two months ago and sent the NASA probe TESS in a lunar resonance track. This 10-week turnaround was remarkably fast for a Block 4 booster, but SpaceX says Block 5 could fly much faster.

In fact, SpaceX intends to fly every block 5 of the first stage, which will be built at least 10 times. That would be of enormous importance, since SpaceX has only reused each Falcon 9 rocket once. In addition, the company hopes to reduce the processing time between the launch of a Falcon 9-Booster, now several months, to a few weeks or less.

Since SpaceX is not planning to fly the Friday boosters again, it is investing in the US Ocean. The second stage of the rocket, however, will form a much longer "coastline" in space before orbiting after four revolutions of the earth. This is probably another test of the second-level ability to fire in space after a long rest period.

During the press conference on Thursday, Jensen said SpaceX is still working on a problem with a thermal panel on the kite spaceship. This might delay the start, but she said that the staff are progressing for the time being, as if the start would take place on Friday morning.


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