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How the reusable Falcon 9 works?

Falcon9
How the reusable Falcon 9 works?
  • The Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket comprising a booster and a payload delivery module.
  • The booster, known as the first stage, has a thrust of 1.5 billion pounds at sea level.
  • A composite structure known as the interstage facilitates separation of the two stages. The second stage is the payload delivery module.
  • It has 19 successful launches to its name.

SpaceX makes history

Fact
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In May 2012, SpaceX's Dragon capsule, delivered into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket, became the first commercial spacecraft in history to deliver cargo to the International Space Station, and safely return cargo to Earth.

SpaceX almost succeeds in landing a rocket

15 Apr 2015
SpaceX almost succeeds in landing a rocket
  • SpaceX almost succeeded in its latest effort to retrieve a rocket booster.
  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted saying that the rocket "landed fine, but excess lateral velocity caused it to tip over".
  • SpaceX's first attempt in January 2015 failed as the rocket booster hit the floating landing platform too hard and exploded.
  • In February 2015, another attempt was called off due to choppy waters.

Falcon 9 explodes after launch

28 Jun 2015
Falcon 9 explodes after launch
  • SpaceX's unmanned Falcon 9 rocket exploded 139 seconds after its launch and flaming debris was seen falling into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The rocket was on its way to resupply the International Space Station and had just over 2 tonnes of supplies from NASA.
  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted, "There was an overpressure event in the upper-stage liquid oxygen tank", and further investigations were underway.

SpaceX successfully lands its Falcon 9 rocket

22 Dec 2015
SpaceX successfully lands its Falcon 9 rocket
  • Space Exploration Technologies Corporation commonly known as SpaceX, in a revolutionary feat, successfully landed its unmanned Falcon-9 rocket upright after delivering 11 commercial data-relay satellites into orbit.
  • The two-stage Falcon-9 took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 8.29 pm local time and the main booster returned to Earth 10 minutes later, landing at a site 6 miles from the launch site.

The first rocket landing after launch

Fact
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In November 2015, private spaceflight company Blue Origin successfully landed its New Shepard rocket after launch. However, the New Shepard is a suborbital rocket designed to reach altitudes of 100 km, whereas Falcon-9 can reach altitudes of 90,000 km.

The implications of a reusable launch system

Implications
The implications of a reusable launch system
  • The rocket industry, as it stands now, loses millions of dollars in discarded machinery and sophisticated rocket components after each launch.
  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk likened the waste to discarding Boeing 747 jets after a single use.
  • The ability of rockets to return to earth and be re-used for future missions would cut costs significantly and revolutionize the growing space industry.

Space X sends telecommunications satellite into space

5 Mar 2016
Space X sends telecommunications satellite into space
  • Space X's unmanned Falcon 9 rocket was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  • This was the rocket's fifth launch attempt in the last week and half.
  • Even though the launch was successful, the rocket crash-landed on a floating drone-ship.
  • Despite the unsuccessful landing, the Space X launch still achieved its principal aim of "sending a telecommunications satellite into space for the company's client, SES."

SpaceX achieves historic rocket landing

9 Apr 2016
SpaceX achieves historic rocket landing
  • After several attempts over several years, SpaceX finally succeeded in landing a part of its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship which was out in the Atlantic Sea.
  • SpaceX landed the first stage of the rocket 8 minutes after it was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
  • The rocket also successfully delivered SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station.