Update July 22nd, 6:45AM ET: Sunday morning, SpaceX successfully launched and landed its Falcon 9 rocket, while putting the Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite into a high orbit above Earth. The mission marks the 13th launch of the year for SpaceX and the 26th successful landing of a Falcon 9 rocket booster.
LANDINGS SHOULD BECOME FAIRLY ROUTINE NOW, AS ALL OF SPACEX’S MISSIONS WILL UTILIZE THE BLOCK 5 FROM NOW ON
The Falcon 9 Block 5 is optimized for rapid reusability, according to the company. It boasts a number of improvements that make the vehicle easier to land after launch, as well as upgrades that minimize the amount of refurbishment the rocket needs between flights. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk claims that the Block 5s won’t need any major refurbishment for the first 10 flights or so, and could potentially fly up to 100 times before being retired. The company’s ultimate goal is to turn these vehicles around in just 24 hours after landing. The fastest SpaceX has been able to manage so far is two and a half months.
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