SpaceX Aims To Debut New Version of Falcon 9 this Summer

February 24, 2016 – 03:50 am

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell. Credit: SpaceXWASHINGTON – SpaceX plans to inaugurate its new, more-powerful Falcon 9 rocket this summer, using the same Merlin 1D engine with a modified fuel mix and other changes to extend the company’s planned reuse of the first stage to cover all SpaceX launches, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said.

In March 16 and 17 appearances at the Satellite 2015 conference here, Shotwell said the new-version Falcon 9, which has yet to be named, will be about 30 percent more powerful than the rocket’s current version.

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX’s plans to reuse its Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage have been carried out so far by attempted landings in the ocean and on an unmanned ocean barge following launches into low Earth orbit.

The Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket needs more power to perform the same maneuver after a launch carrying a telecommunications satellite to geostationary orbit 36, 000 kilometers over the equator, thus the need for the upgraded engine.

Shotwell said the company stopped full qualification of the Merlin 1D engine’s capabilities to keep the first Falcon 9 v1.1 flights on schedule. But the qualification work has continued.

“We’ve gone back and gotten that performance on the engine to place it on the vehicle, ” Shotwell said. “So we’ve got a higher-thrust engine. We’ve finished development on that and are going into qual [qualification testing]. What we’re also doing is modifying the structure a little bit.”

As it adopts the new-version Falcon 9 and prepares for the inaugural flight — still scheduled for late this year — of its Falcon Heavy rocket, SpaceX wants to limit its production line to two versions of the rocket’s core.

“Falcon Heavy is two different cores — the inner core and the two side sticks, ” Shotwell said. “The new Falcon 9 will basically be a Falcon Heavy side booster. So we’re building [only two different] cores to make sure we don’t have a bunch of configurations around the factory so we can streamline operations and hit a launch cadence of one or two a month from every launch site we have.”

The upgraded Falcon 9, Shotwell said, will make its inaugural flight this summer. Customer SES of Luxembourg has said it is willing to be the first customer for the launch of a 5, 300-kilogram telecommunications satellite to geostationary orbit.

Shotwell said the new-version Falcon 9 will not force the company to begin a lengthy new process of certifying the vehicle with NASA and the U.S. Defense Department to carry those agencies’ high-value payloads.

The current Falcon 9 v1.1 is in the middle of a U.S. government certification process that began about a year ago and is expected to be finished by midyear. Once that is completed, further rocket enhancements will be treated as modifications not requiring the same detailed review by the government agencies.


Source: spacenews.com

NASA Commercial Crew Human Spaceflight Program for Transport to the International Space Station (ISS): SpaceX Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Contracts, Safety Reviews, History and Update Reports
eBooks (Progressive Management)

You might also like:

SpaceX launches new Falcon 9 rocket with 60 percent
SpaceX launches new Falcon 9 rocket with 60 percent ...
01.SpaceX Testing - Falcon 9 Engine Test
01.SpaceX Testing - Falcon 9 Engine Test
Engine Glitch Aborts SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch
Engine Glitch Aborts SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch
NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services: A New Era in Spaceflight - History of International Space Station (ISS) Cargo and Crew, SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Bigelow
eBooks (Progressive Management)
ACESR Spacex Year Of The Dragon Mouse Pad / Mouse Mat / Mousepad / Mousemat
Office Product (ACESR)
  • Excellent tracking for all mice
  • Smooth Cloth Surface
  • Non-skid base securely holds the mouse pad in place
  • Create Personalized Photo Mouse Pads
  • Dye Sublimation imprinted
SamSingl Samsingl Women Spacex Dragon Capsule Flip-flop 5.5 B(m) Us Rubber Colorful
Sports (SamSingl)
  • Cozy, beach-ready
  • SamSingl
  • Cozy, beach-ready sandal
  • Women
ACESR iPhone 6 Plus Case, Spacex - Year Of The Dragon Iphone Customize Photo Case for iPhone 6 Plus 5.5inch with TPU Black Border
Wireless (ACESR)
  • Designed for the Lastest iPhone 6 Plus(5.5inch), NOT for Apple iPhone 6 (4.7inch)
  • Durable TPU Materia
  • Access to all ports, controls & sensors.
  • Create a custom case with your favorite photos and designs
  • Thermal transfer, Photo Printed in the plastic plate

Related posts:

  1. SpaceX Falcon 9 Landing Test
  2. SpaceX Falcon 9 explodes
  3. SpaceX Merlin D Engine
  • avatar How can you clean and check auto choke on 3.9 falcon motor?
    • start car then spray carby cleaner around the top of the carby and down into the jets while holding the throttle to about 3000 rpm the revs will die a bit when u do this so keep holding the throttle open until revs pick back up if the choke is working properly it should be fully open at operating temp