SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Moon Mission launch Announcement

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ROCKET SCIENCE What is the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, when is the next launch and what is the latest announcement? All you need to know




SpaceX and Tesla CEO announced two private paying citizens will complete a special mission in one of its rockets next year

IT IS the prodigy of a company hoping to one day colonise Mars.

Now, the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket is reaching for the skies again – making history in the process, but just what is this 5.3tonne rocket all about?

What is a SpaceX Falcon 9?





The rocket was designed and manufactured to transport satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit – a free-flying vehicle designed to deliver cargo and people to destinations.

The SpaceX is the first rocket to be completely developed in the 21st century and has a two-stage separation.

Falcon 9 delivered the Dragon into the correct orbit in 2012 so that it could rendezvous with the International Space Station.

 The SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage rocket landing on LZ-1 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, in February this year

The SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage rocket landing on LZ-1 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, in February this year

The achievement made SpaceX the first every commercial company to visit the ISS.

The Falcon 9 has different versions which are the Falcon 9 v1.1, now retired, and the current Falcon 9 Full Thrust.

How many SpaceX Falcon 9s have been made?





In December 2010 SpaceX were making one Falcon 9 every three months, and were planning to double that rate to one every six weeks.

As of November 2013 the company has been producing roughly one rocket each month.

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What is the SpaceX Falcon 9 used for?

 

Since making it to the International Space Station in 2012, the rocket has made multiple flights back to deliver and return cargo for NASA.

It has been designed to transport paying customers into space and SpaceX are working alongside NASA to make that happen.

On the very tip of the SpaceX is the Dragon spacecraft.

It was also announced in February 2017 that two private citizens had approached Space X, paying a “significant deposit” to do a Moon mission.

The pair will undergo training before the trip.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 lit up the night sky over the Cocoa Beach Pier after lift-off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 lit up the night sky over the Cocoa Beach Pier after lift-off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

When was the last Falcon 9 launch?

SpaceX successfully completed two Falcon 9 landings in one weekend – on June 24 and 25.

The latter voyage marked the rocket’s lucky 13th landing, and its eighth at sea.

Both launches were a success, despite Elon Musk’s warnings of extreme weather conditions just prior to take-off on the latter launch.

In December last year, SpaceX slammed the brakes on its plans for a manned mission to space after its Dragon capsule burst into a massive fireball on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral.

The SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre in March 2017 in what was its first space shuttle launch for five and a half years.

SpaceX made flight history when they successfully launched and landed a used Falcon 9 rocket for the first time.

But all systems were go at the start of May when the Falcon 9 launched into space, with the 230ft rocket blasting off on a classified US spy agency mission.

Despite the threat of strong winds, the launch went well before the Falcon 9 returned to Earth and landed.

At 5 million pounds of liftoff thrust, Falcon Heavy is two-thirds the thrust of Saturn V and more than double the thrust of the next largest launch vehicle currently flying.

Later this year, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, SpaceX will launch its Crew Dragon (Dragon Version 2) spacecraft to the International Space Station.

The first demonstration mission will be in automatic mode – without people on board.

A subsequent mission with crew is expected to fly in the second quarter of 2018.

SpaceX is currently contracted to perform an average of four Dragon 2 missions to the ISS per year, three carrying cargo and one carrying crew.

A Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to be launched for no earlier than Monday June 19, after being pushed back several times.

The rocket will head into space carrying BulgariaSat-1, the country’s first geostationary telecommunications satellite.

elon musk

Elon Musk has revealed SpaceX’s plans to fly two space tourists to the moon and back by next year

What is Elon Musk’s latest announcement for SpaceX?

The firm’s CEO Elon Musk has announced SpaceX plans to fly two people on a tourist mission around the moon – by as early as next year.

The billionaire tech entrepreneur wouldn’t name the two private individuals, who he said approached his firm and will pay for the flight themselves.

Musk said the tourist mission would last around a week, circling the moon and heading out deeper into space before journeying back to Earth.

Some technical points

The SpaceX Falcon 9 is 229.6ft (7om) high and weighs 549,054kg.

It has nine first-stage Merlin engines clustered together and can sustain up to two engine shutdowns during flight.

It has “first stage” engines which SpaceX claim means it can “safely complete its mission even in the event of an engine shutdown”.

Each launch costs the company $62m.

An explosion has rocked the SpaceX launch site in Florida

What are the SpaceX Falcon 9’s most notable launches?

2010: The Falcon 9 maiden launched took place on June 4, 2010 and was a success.

The rocket rolled in space and a halo from the venting of its propellant could be seen from Eastern Australia.

In December 2010 a second launch took place to place the Dragon spacecraft into orbit.

The launch was a success and the Dragon was recovered off the coast of Mexico.

2012: SpaceX launched their first operational cargo resupply mission to the Internal Space Station in 2012.

The Dragon capsule was unloaded by ISS crew who then reloaded it with cargo for its return to Earth.

2016: This year marked SpaceX’s first landings onto drone ships on Earth.

In April launched their eighth commercial mission to the International Space Station and the craft landed on a drone ship on its return to earth.

A month later on May 6 SpaceX launched their JCSAT-14 mission – a geostationary communications satellite operating over Asia.

Eight minutes and forty seconds into the flight it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere at the twice the speed of the first success.

The stage successfully landed on a drone ship off the coast of Florida.

Space X founder Elon Musk has been trying to launch reusable rockets to further space travel

Space X founder Elon Musk has been trying to launch reusable rockets to further space travel

Who are SpaceX?





SpaceX’s full name is the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation.

They are a US firm and were founded in 2002 by Elon Musk who also launched PayPal and Tesla Motors.

The goal of the company is to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonisation of Mars.