SpaceX’s Block 5 Falcon 9 lifts off at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. Photo Credit: SpaceX
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla, — At a media teleconference before the first flight of the Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX CEO and lead designer Elon Musk outlined some of the various upgrades to the Falcon 9 on the Block 5 version and revealed that, sometime next year, the company plans to launch, recover, re-fuel and re-launch a rocket within 24 hours.
Six years ago, SpaceX published an animation illustrating a reusable launch system, featuring powered decent and recovery of the first stage, second stage, and finally the Dragon space capsule. SpaceX made its first successful landing of a Falcon 9 first stage in December 2015. Several month’s later, in April 2016, the company successfully landed on a drone ship out at sea.
Photo Credit: Michael Deep / SpaceFlight Insider
Over the course of the last 2.5 years, the company landed first stage boosters some 24 times. Many of those cores were re-flown—once. But the Block 5 is expected to enable the company’s goal of a rapidly reusable vehicle.
“The key to Block 5 is that it’s designed to do 10 or more ...