The New Version of SpaceX’s Workhorse Rocket Blast Off From the Florida Coast

The New Version of SpaceX’s Workhorse Rocket Blast Off From the Florida Coast

News Staff

Southern California-based SpaceX will look to make yet another rocket-industry advancement Thursday when it attempts the first launch of its refurbished Falcon 9 rocket designed to make it more durable for re-use in future missions.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Thursday’s launch is at Cape Canaveral in Florida

  • The launch is the first for SpaceX’s refurbished Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, a more durable version bound for future re-use

  • New fins help guide the rocket’s first stage back to Earth after delivering a satellite into orbit

Known as the Falcon 9 Block 5, the rocket includes improvements such as upgraded heat shields to protect the rocket’s base during re-entry. The Block 5 is also outfitted with improved navigation fins — which help guide the rocket’s first stage back to Earth after delivering a satellite into orbit — made from fire-resistant titanium.

The upgrades are all designed to make Falcon 9 rockets, which SpaceX has already been recovering and using multiple times to cut costs on future missions, even more durable. Company officials have said the Block 5 model could potentially be used 10 times or more, while the current Falcon 9s have never been used more than twice.

Known as the Falcon 9 Block 5, the rocket includes improvements such as upgraded heat shields to protect the rocket’s base during re-entry. The Block 5 is also outfitted with improved navigation fins — which help guide the rocket’s first stage back to Earth after delivering a satellite into orbit — made from fire-resistant titanium.

The upgrades are all designed to make Falcon 9 rockets, which SpaceX has already been recovering and using multiple times to cut costs on future missions, even more durable. Company officials have said the Block 5 model could potentially be used 10 times or more, while the current Falcon 9s have never been used more than twice.