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SpaceX To Launch Final Version Of Its Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX says upgrades to its Falcon 9 rocket should increase its reusability.
Posted at 11:02 PM, May 09, 2018

On Thursday, SpaceX will launch the latest and final version of its Falcon 9 rocket, called the "block 5." Some of its upgrades include higher-pressure helium tanks that will help improve steering, retractable landing legs and better heat shield insulation.

SpaceX says it hopes all of these improvements will reduce the time it takes to repair and refurbish a rocket, which in turn would increase the rocket's reusability. So far, SpaceX has only been able to reuse a first-stage rocket booster a maximum of two times. If these improvements work, SpaceX says it may be able to reuse the block 5 rocket 10 or more times.  

This could also help SpaceX send astronauts to the International Space Station and eventually to Mars.