A few days ago the head of the company SpaceX Elon Musk has told about plans for the future. The story was detailed enough with bringing financial details. According to the Mask, over the next three years, the cost of start-up Falcon 9 will be reduced to $5-6 million, This forecast will be real, if more elements of the launch vehicle will become reusable.
Now the most expensive element of the rocket is the first stage, which SpaceX representatives have learned to return. It accounts for about 60% of the price of the rocket, thus, its price has the greatest impact on the cost of start-up. In addition, another 20% is the second level and 10% — fairing, and other items without which you cannot run. The remaining 10% is fuel and the cost of all, so or otherwise associated with start-up.
Modification of missiles Block 5 plan to operate and further — only SpaceX is going to implement about 300 launches, including those that are implemented with the use of already exhaust the degrees. Now, according to company representatives, the first step you can run about ten times without repair. If regular repair, you can increase the number of launches up to a hundred times. Until 2019 the company intends to conduct an interesting experiment — twice for one day to run Block 5 with the same first step.
The previous version level, Block 4, could also be used up to ten times in a row, but this required cosmetic repairs between flights. Now, no work is required, the step can be used immediately as soon as it returned to Earth. The only thing the rocket for flight fuel. Bucky steps are fueled and she flies again.
Block 5 Falcon 9, according to the Mask — most advanced modification of the carrier rocket Falcon. Updated for the first time a rocket flew into space a few days ago. She carried on geostationary orbit of the Earth the first satellite of Bangladesh, he received the name of Bangabandhu-1.
With the numbering of modifications of the first stage there is some confusion. Despite the fact that it is called Block 5, this is the sixth version. All the improvements and refinements made on the basis of information obtained previously. Incidentally, the word “Block” Musk taken from the vocabulary of Russian cosmonauts and rocket scientists.
Now the engines of the first stage is improved, their capacity increased by 8%. As for the second stage, here the engines enhanced their power above 5%. It is possible to further increase the capacity of the engines — thrust plan to increase the percent by 10%.
According to SpaceX representatives, increased security levels, they are now manufacturing and operation fully comply with all the requirements of NASA. To make them a little easier, thus to reduce the amount of time required for production. Among other changes, folding supports that are no longer need to withdraw after the landing stage on the Ground.
The current version of Falcon — final. It has been so successful that SpaceX will not be modified, leaving static in time. Instead, the company will have more time to implement their projects on creation of Big Falcon Rocket and satellites Starlink network. If necessary, the design of the Falcon 9 can make some changes, but they are unlikely to be significant. “Will not Block 6. We decided to stay on version Block 5 and no further plan to make significant changes in its design,” said Musk.
By the way, recently the Chinese have announced plans to create the return the first stage of the Falcon 9 type. After all, China is a space power, and save a few tens of millions of dollars at the start, and there’s no one against. Recently a Chinese engineer long Lehao (Long Lehao) from the Academy of technology of carrier rocket of China (China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, CALT) said that now is the development of the carrier rocket “Changzheng-8” (Long March 8) with a reusable first stage. The first test launch could take place in 2020.
By 2035, the Corporation aerospace science and technology (CASC) is planning to seek re-use all the boosters of the country.