SpaceX is gearing up for its next launch on Monday, April 02 which will be a maiden flight for the swanky new SpaceX Falcon 9 Block V rocket according to the reports. It will carry Bangabandhu-1 satellite which is the first ever Bangladeshi satellite in the LEO. SpaceX achieved an outstanding feat with 6 recovered boosters of which most will be reused and recovered. In the attempt to make space missions affordable, SpaceX has been experimenting with reusability of the rockets and that is when the Block 5 comes as the next iteration to the series of Falcon 9 rockets.
SpaceX has launched the different iterations of Falcon 9 rockets i.e. Falcon 9 V.0, Falcon 9 V.1 and so on for 50 times and counting. SpaceX is reportedly working on the new class of rockets that will be named as Falcon 9 Block V rockets i.e. the next iteration of Falcon 9 rockets with added abilities. As per the reports, its first stage is being readied for testing at SpaceX Texas Test Facility. SpaceX engineers spent a considerable time in the research and development of Block V trying to enhance its efficiency, reusability, and speed of production and have claimed that the new iteration of boosters will be capable to take space missions ten times with little inspection. That’s not all; it can be utilized for over 100 times with refurbishments.
As per an analysis, Falcon 9 Block V rocket will have a 7% to 8% more thrust than the previous Falcon 9 Full Thrust boosters. Additionally, it has an improved flight control system that will analyze and optimize the angle of attack which will be useful during descent and will decrease the fuel requirements considerably.
The new rocket will have enhanced endurance and reusability trait as it will have a temperature-resistant titanium cast grid fins which are more heat-resistant than previously utilized Aluminium fins. Further, it will have a reusable heat shield cast on its Merlin engines at the base to protect the region from excessive heat during descent. SpaceX will apply thermal protection coating on its first stage that will further decrease the damaged caused during re-entry. Finally, once the rocket descents to the ground, it will stand on its retractable landing lags coupled with its sophisticated flight control system that will be utilized to perfect its landing.
Presently, SpaceX is reading the rocket for its maiden flight. The company has several upcoming missions on its manifest. The nomenclature used in naming these rockets is also a part of the discussion since many people suggest that Block V is the fifth iteration of the Falcon 9 rocket while others claim that it has five stages combined.