SpaceX Is Testing Its Very First Reusable Rocket, Painting a Nice Future for Space Travel

SpaceX will perform another one of its regular satellite launch tests tomorrow, marking a landmark for the company. It will not use a regular method to propel the satellite to the orbit. Instead, it will launch the first reusable rocket that should make it possible for SpaceX to achieve all its goals. The rocket in question is called Block 5, which is one version of the advanced Falcon 9.

The idea of a reusable rocket might sound a bit odd since most of them crash once they bring spacecraft on the orbit. However, SpaceX has some big plans for the future. To fulfill all these exploration plans, it needs some serious financial resources. Even for an established company, this might be too much, so a reusable rocket is actually a great idea.

Reconditioning Old Rockets Consumed Time and Money

Therefore, SpaceX decided to do the following. Instead of building a new rocket for each mission or satellite launching, they can design a reusable rocket that, once it undergoes testing, can then perform each space mission. So far, scientists at SpaceX tried refurbishing older rockets, but this wasn’t quite the best idea.

For instance, the maximum number of flights taken by Falcon 9 to space and then back on Earth was two. However, once it comes back from the orbit, it takes a lot of money and resources to recondition it. It needs to undergo a huge number of tests to make sure everything is alright for a new flight. This is costly, time-consuming, and eats a lot of energy, so most space scientists choose to build new rockets.

Falcon 9 rocket getting launched into space, reusable rocket

The Reusable Rocket Requires Less Maintenance and Resources

However, SpaceX reached a milestone in the history of rocket building. With this Block 5 reusable rocket, they might spend fewer resources and less time to make it ready to fly again. They made some changes that made the rocket more durable. For instance, the space vehicle is made from better materials that can cope with huge temperatures and don’t catch fire when they return to Earth.

Also, the reusable rocket is more flexible. This means it’s made from several pieces instead of one. Whenever it returns to Earth, it needs a thorough inspection before it can go back to space. If it has more separate pieces, scientists can easily pull each of them apart and perform the regular maintenance operations.

This Reusable Rocket Can Propel a New Era for Space Travel

This reusable rocket is a clear example why going green is a great idea not only for the environment. First of all, Block 5 takes less time to inspect, so it can return to space a lot more quickly. Secondly, it saves a lot of costs. The maintenance operations will be cheaper, while SpaceX gets to save all that money it could spend on a new rocket.

Of course, the impact on the environment can get smaller. If maintenance is shorter, they save all that energy and fuel while getting palpable results. A reusable rocket can bring them a huge amount of money they can use for other purposes. For instance, they can build more rockets of the kind and achieve more with them. This way, the future of space travel looks extremely bright.

Image sources: Flickr

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William E. Eubanks
 

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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