Tomorrow, SpaceX is ready to launch the most powerful rocket ever made by the aerospace company. This is happening just six months after its last unsuccessful launch of Falcon 9 rocket in June 2015 ended up in a blast, nonetheless, the risk taking billionaire tech icon Elon Musk continues to push the limits. The next SpaceX rocket is set to launch on December 19 this Weekend, between 8pm-9pm.
SpaceX and its founder Elon Musk have passed through a series of unfortunate events before achieving the status they boast today. On June 28th, Falcon 9 blasted in the mid-air just two minutes after the launch from Cape Canaveral with its Dragon cargo ship. The mission was carrying supplies aimed for the astronauts living in space, Science Alert Reported.
Later investigation revealed that Falcon 9 exploded due to a faulty rig, called a strut, which broke during the launch and consequentially one of the fuel tanks blasted. The powerful explosion destroyed the entire rock, but luckily the Dragon spacecraft appended on the rock was unmanned. The failure resulted in an extensive delay in further launches, until now.
June’s event was not the first time a SpaceX rocket had failed; there had been multiple rocket blasts since Elon Musk founded the company. Each failure led to improvements and after successfully sending few rockets in space, SpaceX was finally attracting contracts from major clients like NASA and is also contemplating its own global projects.
The new rocket, also named Falcon 9, is a modified and improved version of the previous model. The new Falcon 9 receives major upgrades including extra space to carry a greater amount of fuel and combined with increased power, the latest SpaceX rocket will be faster than ever. The new rocket is 5 taller in size with additional technical upgrades.
Digging further into the details, the new SpaceX Falcon 9 stands 70 meters (229.6 feet) tall with an incredible 1.7 million pounds (771,000 kg) of thrust power. That is 26 times more firepower than the earlier Falcon 9 rocket. The secret lies in upgraded booster, which is the tallest part of the rocket that makes its bottom and is responsible for lifting the rocket from the ground.
The Falcon 9 booster is powered by 9 Merlin engines for efficient takeoff. Moreover, the rocket boosters will now be retrievable after being sent into space, so the company will probably be soon announcing landing attempts as well. This year alone, SpaceX tried twice to retrieve its rocket boosters with the help of GPS guiding system, but both attempts were unsuccessful.
The importance of retrievable boosters is significance because it would not only reduce space debris but also save the cost of manufacturing. The issue is that the boosters exhaust all its fuel during the ascend, which leaves a little or no fuel for the way back. But now with increased capacity and faster speeds, the boosters are more likely to land back on Earth safely.
Elon Musk seems confident that SpaceX has made a better rocket and we will find out the truth when the new Falcon 9 rocket will hit the countdown tomorrow on Saturday between 8pm-9pm ET.