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SpaceX to Launch the Last Reusable Rocket; Falcon 9 Model to Retire

Jan 26, 2017 10:17 AM EST
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SpaceX successfully launches its 14th Falcon 9 rocket

Elon Musk wanted to cut the cost of spaceflight, to do that, SpaceX mastered the art of reusing Falcon 9 rockets by launching and landing them safely. However, the company announced that the Falcon 9 model will be retiring soon.

SpaceX is set to launch the last reusable Falcon 9 rocket. Not only did SpaceX helped lower the cost of spaceflight by reusing Falcon 9 rockets, landing a spacecraft both on land and in water has become a public spectacle.

In a recent Tweet, Musk revealed that the next launch won't be followed by another show-stopping landing. According to Musk, the next missions will use the Falcon Heavy rocket or the new upgraded version of the Falcon 9 called Block 5.

"Block 5 is the final upgrade of the Falcon architecture. Significantly improves performance & ease of reusability. Flies end of the year," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a Tweet.

The public will have to accept that there won't be any exciting landing to look out for. SpaceX is known for their attempt to master rocket landings. Despite some missed attempts, the company nearly perfected the landings last year. The most exciting would be landing on a drone ship at sea, which SpaceX smoothly accomplished many times.

The mission to launch communication satellite EchoStar 23 will be the last for the soon-to-retire Falcon 9 rocket since the parameters make it impossible to land it back, according to The Verge. 

Based on the report, sending the satellite requires a certain speed, which will burn up most of the Falcon 9's propellant. This means there won't be enough for the trip back.

The satellite weighs 5.4 imperial-ton, according to Engadget. Carrying a payload this heavy will also require more propellant.

The retirement of Falcon 9 rockets will give way to SpaceX's more advanced rockets: the Falcon Heavy and the new Block 5.

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