On Friday, SpaceX launched first-ever geostationary communication satellite of Bangladesh, the Bangabandhu-1 successfully. But the newly designed Falcon 9 Block 5 outshined in the mission than the satellite. The launcher has been created as the affordable, reusable and most powerful version among all the orbital rockets, Musk said.
He also added, “I believe Falcon 9 was the most launched rocket worldwide in 2017 if things go well – big caveat – SpaceX will launch more rockets than any other country in 2018.” By the year 2019, SpaceX’s plan is to launch a Falcon 9 mission. Landing the booster, examine it and then within 24 hours; get it back on launchpad. SpaceX launched 56 missions on Falcon 9 successfully, since the debut in June 2010.
Including the launch on Friday, it has flown eight times. But Musk said, “This is a ridiculously hard thing that has taken us, man, since 2002 – 16 years of extreme effort and many, many iterations, and thousands of small but important design is even possible. Crazy hard, and of course we still need to demonstrate it, it’s not like we’ve done it. But it can be done.”
The design of Falcon 9 isn’t locked in place like the other rockets but it has been improved by the engineers making it taller, stronger, lighter and much more powerful than before. SpaceX has launched 25 boosters, so far. But according to Musk, the Falcon 9 Block 5 is the most reliable rocket ever built and he said that he hopes in expanding the reuse record.
And with a little replacement and servicing, it can be reused for more than 100 times. Musk also referred the Falcon 9 Block 5 as the final version of the rocket as all the 6,000 employees are shifting their focus on the new project, Big Falcon Rocket or BFR. If all goes well, Elon Musk hopes to begin the test launch early next year at SpaceX’s Texas facility.
Musk said, “I’m not predicting that we’re about to enter Dark Age, but that there’s some possibility that we will, particularly. To make sure that there’s enough of us, a seed of human civilization, somewhere else to bring civilization back and perhaps shorten the length of the Dark Ages.”
That’s the ultimate reason for the BFR project. Perhaps the prediction of Professor Stephen Hawking that earth will turn into a fiery ball affected Elon Musk very much.