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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)

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SpaceX Targets Late June for Falcon Heavy Launch: Report

NASA will launch some pretty cool technologies in this mission, which will support its future exploration plans by helping improve future spacecraft design and performance, said the release

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A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket, with a payload of 60 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband network, lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 during a time exposure at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., May 23, 2019. VOA

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will take to the skies for the third time to launch the US Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission in late June, according to a release of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Several exciting, one-of-a-kind NASA technology and science payloads are among the two dozen spacecraft aboard.

The 27 engines of the Falcon Heavy rocket generate thrust at liftoff equal to that of approximately 18 airplanes, and it can lift over 140,000 pounds (about 63,503 kg), according to the JPL, Xinhua news agency reported.

Managed by the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, STP-2 is the first government-contracted Falcon Heavy launch.

spaceX
A SpaceX rocket has launched 60 satellites into orbit, which will be used to provide internet service from space. VOA

It will reuse the two side boosters recovered after the April flight. SpaceX described it as one of the most challenging launches in the company’s history.

NASA will launch some pretty cool technologies in this mission, which will support its future exploration plans by helping improve future spacecraft design and performance, said the release.

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According to the JPL, the technologies include the Deep Space Atomic Clock, a navigation payload hosted on the General Atomics Orbital Test Bed satellite; the Green Propellant Infusion Mission, a small satellite that will demonstrate a non-toxic fuel and propulsion system; Space Environment Testbeds, instruments hosted on the US Air Force Research Lab’s Demonstration and Science Experiments spacecraft to study how to protect satellites in space; and the Enhanced Tandem Beacon Experiment, twin CubeSats to study the disruptions of signals that pass through Earth’s upper atmosphere. (IANS)