For Full Story: Orlando Business Journal
Article By: Matthew Richardson
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket may have looked, launched and landed the same way like its many other missions, but last week’s launch was a test of what’s ahead for the rocket company.
The Hawthorne, Calif.-based company used its Falcon 9 rocket to send Bangladesh’s telecommunicaions device, the Bangabandhu 1 satellite, to space on May 11. The launch was a success and the landing was accomplished, but this Falcon 9 was a new Block 5 model — a sturdier version of the rocket.
The value of using the Block 5 model is so SpaceX can take its reusable rocket model to new heights and cut down on costs. It also may better open the door for SpaceX to see how its new model works and if that same method can be applied to its Big Falcon Rocket, which now is being built in Los Angeles.
Here are three reasons this rocket model is a big deal not just for SpaceX, but also for Florida’s Space Coast:
- Faster turn-around times: SpaceX billionaire owner Elon Musk has stated before that he wants to cut down the refurbishment time of a rocket to 24 hours, giving the company the ability to launch a rocket, land it, refuel and launch again in a matter of hours, and not months.
- Gearing up for NASA: Under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, SpaceX was contracted to build its Crew Dragon capsule that will ship astronauts to the International Space Station.
- The Big Falcon Rocket: Labeled as the most powerful rocket ever built whenever it’s finished, the BFR is Musk’s crown jewel of space exploration. The BFR not only will be the main vehicle for civilians to travel to Mars, but Musk also wants it to be a form of very fast commercial flight service from one country to another.