Space

SpaceX launches improved and most powerful Falcon 9 version

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL - JUNE 03: In this handout provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft onboard, launches from pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on June 3, 2017 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Dragon is carrying almost 6,000 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware to the International Space Station in support of the Expedition 52 and 53 crew members. The unpressurized trunk of the spacecraft also will transport solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars. This will be the 100th launch, and sixth SpaceX launch, from this pad. Previous launches include 11 Apollo flights, the launch of the unmanned Skylab in 1973, 82 shuttle flights and five SpaceX launches. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

SpaceX recently launched an improved and enhanced version of its Falcon 9, Block 5 spaceship at 4:14 p.m. EDT (2014 GMT) on Friday from Florida’s Space Coast.  This version of the Falcon 9 is said to be more reusable with a higher-thrust. The rocket is updated for NASA’s crewed missions.

This new version of the Falcon 9 is perhaps completely remade after flying for eight long years. The SpaceX has hosted in the updated version all the knowledge it gained from fifty-one flights. Elon Musk, the CEO of the company, explained that the modified launch booster would prove to be easy to reuse. Musk is targeted at reducing the costs of launch and developing colonization on the other worlds.

As per the statements of SpaceX, the payload of the rocket, Bangabandhu-1, which is the first ever communications satellite of the government of Bangladesh was put into the orbit of the Earth just after thirty-three minutes of the launch. Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh expressed her happiness for the achievement from the capital of the country, Dhaka, via a live-streaming appearance. She said that the day was a glorious and delightful day for their motherland, Bangladesh and for all the citizens of the nation. She further added that with the launch of the Bangabandhu Satellite-1, the country is hoisting its National Flag in space.

Elon Musk spoke about the modifications that have been received by the upgraded version of the Falcon 9. He said that SpaceX has improved that initial stage rocket in every possible way in order to increase the performance and robustness of the spaceship. Musk told that the modifications are done keeping in mind the increased safety due to the reason that the company targets at “crewed flights.”

Out of the many modifications and new additions, the one that can be summarized is strengthening the “Octaweb.” The Octaweb is basically the “engine bay,” which carries the weight of the nine spaceship engines of the Falcon 9. The Octaweb insulates the engines from each other if an engine failure occurs on ascent. As said by Musk, “7000 series aluminum” has been used in the Octaweb to make it much stronger than before. The Octaweb even has supplementary thermal protection.

The bottom heat shield has also been changed. It has been transformed to a “high-grade titanium structure” from the previous “composite structure.” The landing legs of the spaceship have received a new coating for thermal protection. The functioning of Merlin engines has been increased by around eight percent.

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