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SpaceX Drops Plan To Make its Falcon 9 Even More Reusable

Following stage separation, the first stage successfully returned to Earth for a second time, landing on a drone ship stationed in the Atlantic ocean

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The Falcon 9's first stage separates from the second stage moments after about two minutes from liftoff.
SpaceX scraps plan to upgrade Falcon 9 for more 'reusability'. Wikimedia Commons

SpaceX has dropped plans to make its Falcon 9 rockets even more reusable than they are now, company CEO Elon Musk has said.

“SpaceX is no longer planning to upgrade Falcon 9 second stage for reusability,” Musk tweeted on Saturday.

In response to a question by a Twitter user, Musk said that the company would carry out “minor tweaks to improve reliability only, provided NASA and USAF (US Air Force) are supportive”.

Instead of upgrading Falcon 9 for more reusability, SpaceX was now focusing on “accelerating BFR (Big Falcon Rocket)” which is being designed to take humans and supply to Mars and also to dramatically cut travel time within Earth.

“New design is very exciting! Delightfully counter-intuitive,” he said.

According to SpaceX, BFR is a fully reusable vehicle designed to service all Earth orbit needs as well as the Moon and Mars.

Elon Musk, tesla
“SpaceX is no longer planning to upgrade Falcon 9 second stage for reusability,” Musk tweeted on Saturday. IANS

This two-stage vehicle — composed of a Booster and a Ship ? is designed to eventually replace Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and the Dragon spacecraft.

On September 17, SpaceX announced announced that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the company’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard the company’s BFR rocket in 2023.

In March 2017, SpaceX achieved the world’s first reflight of an orbital class rocket when the Falcon 9 launched a geosynchronous communications satellite on March 30 of that year.

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The first stage for the mission previously supported a space station cargo resupply launch for NASA in April 2016.

Following stage separation, the first stage successfully returned to Earth for a second time, landing on a drone ship stationed in the Atlantic ocean. (IANS)

Next Story

Space X Crew Capsule Successfully Docks at International Space Station

NASA has awarded millions of dollars to Space X and Boeing to design and operate a capsule to launch astronauts into orbit from American soil some time this year.

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In this image taken from NASA Television, SpaceX's new crew capsule approaches just before docking at the International Space Station, March 3, 2019. VOA

The first American commercially built-and-operated crew spacecraft in eight years docked successfully Sunday at the International Space Station.

There was, however, no crew aboard the spacecraft, just a test dummy named Ripley, in a nod to the lead character in the Alien movies.

The docking was carried out autonomously by the Crew Dragon capsule, as the three astronauts on board the International Space Station watched.

The Space X Crew Dragon capsule lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket early Saturday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

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Currently, America relies on Russia to launch astronauts to the space station. Pixabay

The Dragon brought supplies and test equipment to the space station where it will spend five days as astronauts conduct tests and inspect the Dragon’s cabin.

NASA has awarded millions of dollars to Space X and Boeing to design and operate a capsule to launch astronauts into orbit from American soil some time this year.

It is not immediately clear whether that goal will be reached.

Space X is entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company. Musk is also the CEO of electric carmaker Tesla.

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Currently, America relies on Russia to launch astronauts to the space station.

Russia charges about $80 million per ticket. (VOA)