SpaceX, the recyclable Falcon 9 rocket ready for launch

Elon Musk's SpaceX is betting on the "Block 5" version of its Falcon 9 rocket that it should, from now on, return to Earth while waiting for a new mission

This is not the first time SpaceX has managed to land its rockets intact on our planet after a completed mission. But the next telecommunications satellite to be launched into geostationary orbit - EchoStar 23 - requires too many resources, and the only alternative is to get the Falcon 9 back to Earth safely.

The EchoStar 23 satellite is scheduled to launch by Jan. 30. It is an extremely heavy satellite - 5.5 tons - that must be carried into orbit at an altitude of about 40,000 kilometers above the Earth's surface. It requires, in short, all the resources offered by the Falcon 9 rocket. It is a feat that would not leave enough propellant for SpaceX's rocket to slow down and perform a controlled descent through the Earth's atmosphere, and attempt a hard landing on a drone ship. It is the same Elon Musk from Twitter - his favorite social media - who confirms that the rocket will, unfortunately, be left to its fate in space.

The new Falcon 9

Elon Musk is, however, intent on finding a solution to make, in any case, even in situations of extremely heavy satellites and particularly challenging missions, his rockets return "home". In the future, in practice, loads with such a heavy weight will be launched with the most powerful - Falcon Heavy - consisting of three cores of Falcon 9 - designed for the return to Earth, or by a more powerful variant. Anche se SpaceX potrebbe ancora essere obbligata a sacrificare uno o due razzi nel prossimo futuro, l’obiettivo d’ora in avanti è di provare e lanciare nell’atmosfera tutto su razzi riutilizzabili. È la soluzione, spiega Musk, è il “Block 5“, ossia l’ultima versione aggiornata dell’architettura del Falcon 9.

Falcon 9: basta sprechi

(Tratto da YouTube)

SpaceX lavora da anni a questa politica del ritorno sulla Terra dei suoi razzi. E ha già dimostrato, per ben sette volte, che è una strategia percorribile, oltre che economicamente vantaggiosa, anche per non inquinare ulteriormente l’atmosfera di rottami di vecchie missioni. Elon Musk è convinto che «i razzi F9 potrebbero essere utilizzati quasi a tempo indeterminato fino a quando saranno sottoposti a manutenzione e ispezioni accurate.»

solar.jpgFonte foto: Tesla

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