Testing of the design was completed at NASA's Plum Brook Station facility in spring where the acoustic shock and mechanical vibration of launch, plus electromagnetic static discharge conditions, were simulated on a full-size test article in a very large vacuum chamber.
SpaceX uses multiple redundant flight computers in a fault-tolerant design. Each Merlin rocket engine is controlled by three voting computers, each of which has two physical processors that constantly check each other. The original Falcon 9 v1. The much larger Falcon 9 v1. The third—and current—version of the Falcon 9 is the Falcon 9 Full Thrust which made its first flight in December The first stage of the Falcon 9 Full Thrust version is reusable.
The first version of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, Falcon 9 v1. The Falcon 9 v1. Gaseous N 2 thrusters were used on the Falcon 9 v1. SpaceX expressed hopes initially that both stages would eventually be reusable. In , SpaceX began a formal and funded development program for a reusable Falcon 9 , with the early program focus however on return of the first stage. This is designed to simplify and streamline the manufacturing process. The "Full Thrust upgrade" version   —the third major version of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle following the Falcon 9 v1.
SpaceX pricing and payload specifications published for the Falcon 9 v1. Many engineering changes to support reusability and recovery of the first stage had been made on the v1. The Full Thrust version of the rocket has a reusable first stage after achieving its first successful landing in December  and first reflight in March For all SpaceX launches after 16 March , the autonomous AFSS has replaced "the ground-based mission flight control personnel and equipment with on-board Positioning, Navigation and Timing sources and decision logic. The benefits of AFSS include increased public safety, reduced reliance on range infrastructure, reduced range spacelift cost, increased schedule predictability and availability, operational flexibility, and launch slot flexibility.
On the June 25, mission carrying the second batch of ten Iridium NEXT satellites, aluminum grid fins were replaced by titanium versions, to improve control authority and better cope with heat during re-entry.
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In , SpaceX started including incremental changes to the Falcon 9 Full Thrust, internally calling it the "Block 4" version. It includes incremental engine thrust upgrades leading to the final thrust for Block 5.
In October , Musk described a Block 5 version that would have "a lot of minor refinements that collectively are important, but uprated thrust and improved legs are the most significant. SpaceX had predicted that its launches would have high reliability based on the philosophy that "through simplicity, reliability and low cost can go hand-in-hand" by As with the company's smaller Falcon 1 vehicle, Falcon 9's launch sequence includes a hold-down feature that allows full engine ignition and systems check before liftoff.
After first-stage engine start, the launcher is held down and not released for flight until all propulsion and vehicle systems are confirmed to be operating normally. Similar hold-down systems have been used on other launch vehicles such as the Saturn V  and Space Shuttle. An automatic safe shut-down and unloading of propellant occurs if any abnormal conditions are detected. Falcon 9 has triple redundant flight computers and inertial navigation , with a GPS overlay for additional orbit insertion accuracy.
Like the Saturn rocket series from the Apollo program , the presence of multiple first-stage engines allows for mission completion even if one of the first-stage engines fails during flight. SpaceX emphasized over several years that the Falcon 9 first stage is designed for engine out capability. To compensate for the resulting loss of acceleration, the first stage had to burn 28 seconds longer than planned, and the second stage had to burn an extra 15 seconds. Because NASA had purchased the launch and therefore contractually controlled a number of mission decision points, NASA declined SpaceX's request to restart the second stage and attempt to deliver the secondary payload into the correct orbit.
This risk was understood by the secondary payload customer at time of the signing of the launch contract. As a result, the secondary payload satellite reentered the atmosphere a few days after launch. SpaceX intended to recover the first stages of several early Falcon flights to assist engineers in designing for future reusability. They were equipped with parachutes but failed to survive the aerodynamic stress and heating during atmospheric re-entry following stage separation.
The stages were also marinized by salt-water corrosion resistant material, anodizing and paying attention to galvanic corrosion. In late , SpaceX announced a change in the approach, eliminating the parachutes and going with a propulsively-powered-descent approach. A reusable first stage was then flight-tested by SpaceX with the suborbital Grasshopper rocket.
In March , SpaceX announced that, beginning with the first flight of the Falcon 9 v1. SpaceX continued their propulsive-return over-water tests , saying they "will continue doing such tests until they can do a return to the launch site and a powered landing.
For Falcon 9 Flight 6 in September , after stage separation, the flight test plan called for the first-stage booster to first burn to reduce its reentry velocity, and then effect a second burn just before it reached the water. SpaceX stated they expected several powered-descent tests to achieve successful recovery,  before they could then attempt a landing on a solid surface.
The rocket incorporated for the first time in an orbital mission grid fin aerodynamic control surfaces, and guided itself to the ship successfully, but ran out of hydraulic fluid and lost its steering ability, destroying it on impact with the landing platform. After the launch, Elon Musk communicated that the bipropellant valve had become stuck, and therefore the control system could not react rapidly enough for a successful landing. The first attempt to land the first stage of Falcon 9 on a ground pad near the launch site occurred on flight 20 , the maiden flight of the Falcon 9 Full Thrust version in December The landing was successful and the first stage was recovered.
In total, sixteen test flights were conducted from to , six of which achieved a soft landing and recovery of the booster. Since January , SpaceX has stopped referring to landing attempts as "experimental" in their press releases, indicating that they are now considered a routine procedure; with the exceptions of the center core from the Falcon Heavy Test Flight and the CRS resupply mission every landing attempt since has been successful. The core for the mission, B, was the first Block 5 booster produced, and was originally flown on the Bangabandhu-1 mission.
Despite public statements that they would endeavor to make the Falcon 9 second-stage reusable as well, by late , SpaceX determined that the mass needed for a re-entry heat shield, landing engines, and other equipment to support recovery of the second stage was at that time prohibitive, and indefinitely suspended their second-stage reusability plans for the Falcon line. Payload fairings have survived descent and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
In June , wreckage of an unidentified Falcon 9 launch vehicle was found off the coast of The Bahamas , which was confirmed by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to be a component of the payload fairing that washed ashore. Musk noted the possibility of fairing reusability in a statement: In November , SpaceX announced work on a heavily modified Falcon 9 second stage that would be used for atmospheric reentry testing of a number of technologies needed for the full-scale BFR spaceship , including an ultra-light heat shield and high- Mach control surfaces. Musk indicated it would be "upgraded to be like a mini- BFR ship " but that the stage would not be used for landing tests, as the company already believes it has a good handle on propulsive landings.
The first test flight of the modified stage is planned to be no earlier than mid At the time of the rocket's maiden flight in , the price of a Falcon 9 v1. In , Elon Musk stated, "long term plans call for development of a heavy lift product and even a super-heavy, if there is customer demand.
In , Musk estimated that fuel and oxidizer for the Falcon 9 v1. By , the Falcon 9's decreased launch costs has led to competitors developing new rockets. This enables secondary and even tertiary missions with minimal impact to the original mission. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Family of orbital launch vehicles made by SpaceX. Active  FT Block 4: Retired FT Block 3: This section is transcluded from List of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches.
Rocket configurations [ edit ]. Launch outcomes [ edit ]. Falcon 9 Full Thrust. A secondary payload was placed in an incorrect orbit because of a changed flight profile due to the malfunction and shut-down of a single first-stage engine.
Likely enough fuel and oxidizer remained on the second stage for orbital insertion, but not enough to be within NASA safety margins for the protection of the International Space Station. SpaceX reusable launch system development program. Falcon 9 first-stage landing tests. Retrieved 3 May Retrieved May 24, Archived from the original on December 9, Retrieved 3 December Archived from the original on November 29, Retrieved 4 December Archived from the original on December 22, Retrieved 8 May Orbcomm requested that SpaceX carry one of their small satellites weighing a few hundred pounds, vs.
The blade comes ready to use. Slight additional honing will increase performance. A secondary bevel of up to 5 degrees helps achieve a razor edge quickly. This also improves edge life in hardwoods. Hold the sole in the palm of your hand and loosen the brass locking screw. Adjust with the brass lever. Tighten the screw firmly, but do not overtighten. Hold the tool in one hand with your fingers supporting the sole and your thumb on the cap iron just in front of the screw.
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