SpaceX strives to built better ‘Falcons’ than before and its improve launch rates.
Tesla CEO Musk’s SpaceX is planning to improvise the launch and manufacturing of its rocket named Falcon 9 in 2016 whereas introducing its rocket Falcon Heavy and conducting its commercial crew vehicle examination, the president of the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation ‘Gwynne Shotwell’ told on February 3, 2016.
During the annual Commercial Space Transportation conference of the Federal Aviation Administration, an area on which Shotwell emphasized was boosting the rocket’s launch rate and manufacturing. She said changes must to be done to the manufacturing process. These include adding the stages that can assemble at a single time from 3 to 6.
The organization is also trying to accelerate manufacturing of Merlin engines that powers Falcon 9 since a larger number of engines need to be developed by the corporation at higher manufacturing rates planned for 2016.
The launch schedule of SpaceX and its capability to take care of clients are a topic regarding which many are concerned in the space industry. It still has to announce the date at which its next mission will be launched.
The next mission will carry the SES-9 communication satellite. Speculations indicate that the rocket might be launched in March. Whereas the American space company is planning to produce more units of Falcon 9, Gwynne gave a suggestion that the organization is still changing the vehicle.
The launch operation of 11 Orbcomm satellites on December 21 was the first flight of a full thrust upgraded version of vehicle. In addition, it was the first time when the organization succeeded in landing the first stage of rocket as a reusability effort.
The newest changes, Gwynne told, were done after the static fire test of the first stage on January 15 at Cape Canaveral. She gave a few details regarding the status of the bigger Falcon Heavy Rocket.
Falcon Heavy will be launched from the Apollo launch site and former shuttle Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space center, which has been leased by SpaceX. Work for renovation of launch pad for supporting Falcon Heavy and launches of Falcon 9 is almost wrapped up, she stated.
The crew flights of Falcon 9 are still scheduled to start in 2017. Gwynne suggested SpaceX plans the Crew Dragon spacecraft’s in-flight abortion test before the end of 2016, where the automobile employs its thrusters segregate from Falcon 9 during ascent.
Two demo flights to the International Space Station will follow that in 2017 – a crewless one and the other carrying astronauts. The first operational mission would follow these two demo flights. Gwynne also disclosed an update on the plans of SpaceX for developing a commercial launch pad located near Brownsville, Texas. SpaceX surely learned much from past mistakes.