December 3, SpaceX will try to launch the first stage of the launch vehicle for the third time.
Today, SpaceX was supposed to launch its Falcon booster. This launch should demonstrate the possibility of using the first stage of the launch vehicle for the third time (twice in space she has already visited and successfully returned to Earth). SpaceX with the help of its launch vehicle plans to send 64 communication satellites to the Earth’s orbit (575 km) at once.
This is the 19th launch of Falcon this year, which is another record of the company. This year, the company has planned to launch 22 launches and so far is confidently moving towards its goal. Yes, until 2019 there is not much time left, but there seems to be no special problems. More precisely, they are, but small. For example, this launch was planned for today, but it was postponed for a day to further check the engine steps.
The first launch of the SpaceX carrier rocket with this particular stage took place on 11 May. On August 7, the rocket was sent to space again. Now the company plans to use this stage for the third time for the first time in history, which, without a doubt, will be a historical record and achievement for all of humanity.
This will bring SpaceX closer to the promised tenfold use of the stage with minimal intervention from engineers after each launch. Ilon Mask said earlier that, provided that the stage was overhauled, it could be launched several hundred times. Thus, it allows you to save on every launch and offer customers low prices for services.
At the moment, the company has come to the conclusion that it will no longer change the structure of the accelerator - in any case, dramatically. The current version is called Block 5, and according to the developers of the company, it is optimal for reuse conditions. By the way, to save time between launches, the company no longer conducts cleaning steps. This can be seen from the photographs - the lower part of the rocket does not look too clean, but the upper part is pristine white.
The stage is planned to be returned for the Earth for the third time. It will land on a platform located in the Pacific Ocean. If all goes well, it will be sent to space for the fourth time in 2019.
It is worth noting that the two satellites, which are planned to be launched now with the help of Falcon, belong to Kazakhstan, a country with its own cosmodrome. True, "Baikonur" is leased. Probably, the owners of the satellites decided to choose a cheaper option to send their systems into space. For Russia, one launch is much more expensive for the customer.