Oleg Zabluda's blog
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Elon Musk: On track to double launch rate this year from last year.
- Up to 300 more flights of Falcon 9 Block 5 before retirement.

- about 10 flights, maintenance, 10 flight, repeat... up to 100 (or more) flights per booster.
24hr reflight of single Block 5 coming as soon as next year.

- Fairing will not be recovered on this flight.

- We expect no unnecessary action taken between flights - just like an aircraft. Get it back, retract legs, go to pad, attach Stage 2, attach payload, go to pad, fuel, launch.

- Late this year, we should start seeing good reflights of 3rd and 4th times.

- By end of next year, we should start seeing Block 5s reaching their 10th reflight.

- About 30-50 Block 5s are planned. Dependent on how many customers demand to launch on a new rocket.

- Right now, flight-proven F9s are priced at $50 million USD. New boosters are $60 million USD.

- Merlin engine thrust increased by 8%. Might be a little more room there.

- Falcon 9 Block 5 will see an 8 percent increase in thrust to 190,000 lbf over older Block 4 models. Thrust-to-weight ratio even better than it was before, which was already the best in the world for previous models.

- The black interstage and landing legs use a new thermal protection material that does not require paint. They're hydrophobic, don't trap water.

- Propellant for a launch is only about $300,000 or $400,000. Still hoping to get the marginal cost of a Falcon 9 launch down to $5-$6 million.


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