Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

NASA advisers say SpaceX rocket technology could put lives at risk

NASA advisers say SpaceX rocket technology could put lives at risk

Not only will the SpaceX rocket be able to be used multiple times, but the launch turnaround should be cut down to a couple of weeks rather than the several months it now takes the company to prepare in between launches.

SpaceX ferries cargo to the ISS using its Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket.

Along with helping SpaceX streamline launch operations, the block 5 booster eventually will be used to launch astronauts to the International Space Station as well as high-priority national security payloads for the Pentagon.

The proposal has raised alarms for members of Congress and NASA safety advisers as the agency and SpaceX prepare to launch humans into orbit as early as this year.

The government of Bangladesh is launching their very first Bangabandhu Satellite-1 with the help of SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket.

The latest changes to the Falcon 9 have been mainly driven by the need to meet NASA's requirements for its Commercial Crew Program.

The Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 is built for reusability - it has upgraded fins to steer the booster as it lands back on Earth or on a barge at sea and it has upgraded engines and landing legs.

Editor's observe: This story was up to date at 5:10 p.m. EDT to incorporate the focused launch date of Might 10.

The 45th Weather Squadron released the forecast on Thursday predicting an 80 percent chance of favorable weather during the launch window. The Block 5, however, is created to fly up to 100 times, although this will involve some refurbishment and inspections after every 10 flights.

"It is the final substantial upgrade to the Falcon 9 design, although we may make minor upgrades as we continue to strive for rapid reusability and extremely high reliability".

Later, SpaceX released a statement claiming the explosion was caused by a pressure vessel holding cold helium rupturing.

A second stage COPV apparently ruptured during a pre-launch test September 1, 2016, triggering a catastrophic explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 and its satellite payload and heavily damaged the launch complex. The legs had to be removed in previous versions of the rocket before a recovered booster could be hauled away for post-flight processing.

The lift-off, from Kennedy's pad 39A was the first since SpaceX failed to destroy the historic facility during the spectacular Falcon Heavy launch and landing.

All of the parts of the Block 5 Falcon 9 are optimized for turnaround time.

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