Reusable Rockets—SpaceX proved their theories in 2018
Last year, Elon Musk had predicted that SpaceX would manage to pull off 30 launches. Though the target seemed far-fetched with several reasons such as the flights were planned for the Falcon Heavy, which during that time was yet to fly. While the company did not catch the expected figure, it manages to pull off 21 launches during the year. Which turned out to be an astonishing achievement for the company.
SpaceX has eight launches in 2016 and 18 launches in 2017. SpaceX had built on the momentum by making their reusable rocket technology move out of the proof-of-concept stage to turn out to be the backbone of a growing range of flight-proven rockets.
The company landed up their first rocket in the year 2015, it was not until 2017 that SpaceX actually went on to reuse their first booster. During 2018, landing became almost a routine feature for this company and engineers managed to bid farewell to all those Falcon Rockets, which were moderately reusable.
This has led to an era of much more capable Falcons, which are dubbed as the Block 5. The version having increased power and efficiency of Flacon Rockets has performed in an excellent manner since lifting their first payload. It was a communications satellite for Bangladesh.
According to SpaceX, the modifications will make sure that each Block 5 fly 10 times more effective than ever before. This Falcons requires light renovations and could add up to 100 times before getting retired. The year 2018 had all but two out of the 14 rockets, which attempted to land, however, got stuck up in their landings.
The first set of crewed flights of Falcon Heavy could come up in 2019. We might even see that SpaceX might succeed to catch a fairing next year, which is also known as the nose cone of the rocket.
Additionally, Mr Steven, a boat had joined the ranks of the recovery fleet of the company last year. The boat carries with it a giant net, particularly designed to catch up fairings as they land. Each of the fairing costs around 6 million, which is one-tenth of the total price of Falcon. Historically, it has been a component for one-time use. SpaceX, as part of their reusability strategy, wants to lift them up before they strike the ocean.