Falcon 9 may now be the safest rocket ever launched
SpaceX has been launching Falcon 9 rocket missiles at a particularly rapid pace over the past period. With 10 launches since early December, the company has launched missiles at a rate of more than one mission per week.
Some important milestones for the Falcon 9 rocket, which debuted a little over a decade ago, were lost in the turmoil of activity.
The Falcon 9 rocket has now been launched a total of 139 times. Of these, one mission failed, the launch of an International Space Station refueling mission for NASA in June 2015. This launch account does not include the pre-flight failure of a Falcon 9 rocket and the Amos-6 satellite during a static fire test in September 2016.
As of the year 2020, the Falcon 9 is the most active rocket in the United States, when it surpassed the Atlas V rocket in total launches. Globally, the Russian Soyuz and Proton missiles they still fly have more experience than the Falcon 9 fleet.
Soyuz, however, remains the king of all rockets. It has more than 1,900 launches in about a dozen variants of the amplifier dating back to 1957, with more than 100 failures.
The Falcon 9 reached a notable milestone in the U.S. in January, equalizing and then surpassing the toll of space shuttle launches. Over the course of more than three decades in its service, NASA‘s space shuttle was launched 135 times, with 133 successes. To put into perspective the flight rate of the Falcon 9, it surpasses the largest bus on flights in about a third of the year.
There is no way to know how many missions the Falcon 9 will eventually fly. At its current pace, the rocket could reach 500 flights before the end of this decade. However, SpaceX is also actively working to disable its own amplifier. The success of the company’s Starship project will likely ultimately determine how long the Falcon 9 will remain a working horse.
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Of course, it is most likely that the Falcon 9 will fly for much longer. This is because it now provides the only means for U.S. astronauts to go into space. And while NASA’s Orion vehicle in deep space and Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft will come online within the next two years, the Falcon 9 rocket and crew dragon spacecraft will most likely remain the risk and lower cost of bringing people into orbit. at least for the next decade.
Speaking of safety, this is where the Falcon 9 rocket shone recently. Since the failure of the Amos-6 during the static fire test, SpaceX has completed a record series of 111 successful Falcon 9 missions in a row. It will probably be 112 after Thursday.
There are only two other missiles with a series of successful flights comparable to the Falcon 9. One is the Soyuz-U variant of the Russian missile, which was launched 786 times from 1973 to 2017. The other is the American Rocket Delta II, which was recently retired (Finally, the Atlas V rocket could also surpass 100 consecutive hits before its withdrawal later this decade.)