Aside from companies such as SpaceX, Tesla Motors, PayPal, it is believed that every 100 years, an ambitious, intelligent and hardworking genius comes to Earth that can change the fate of humanity and our planet. If this narrative is true, who is the most extreme thinking, uninhibited and ambitious genius of the hundred years we've lived? Maybe everyone can answer that question differently, but one of the names that deserves to be among them is definitely Elon Musk. In this article, we will talk about the extraordinary rise story of Space X and falcon rockets. The presence of the internet in the 90s had already affected humanity deeply, but especially in the late 1995s, the momentum of the internet displaced the world. Especially for Elon Musk, who thought the internet would restructure human nature, the effect was much greater because the internet was an endlessly explorable place for him. He became one of the most recognizable people of his era with this money transfer system, which was initially known as X.com under the name of a company and later became PayPal. But of course, the change of management of X.com one day and the sale of PayPal for as much as $1.5 billion helped Elon Musk sail other seas. And of course, one of his new goals is the exploration of the depths of space, and the trouble is that the so-called "homeland of future generations" has become an obsession for Musk. The good news is that Musk was both ambitious and patient. That's why he made some very sensible decisions during this long and difficult time.
His first step in the process was to lease 197 acres of land, ramps and five buildings from Texas. Then he started his work immediately with an experienced team and vision. And did you know where the name Falcon came from? The entire Falcon rocket is named after the Millennium Falcon spacecraft from Star Wars. Unfortunately, at first, he didn't get the attention he wanted from any country. Over time, he's come up with a few crazy plans that really make Elon Musk Elon Musk. We can move on to the technical details of the reusable rockets that shook the earth and are also elon musk's masterpiece.
The biggest problem of space investments, high costs, leads to situations such as canceling projects or even not starting at all, so the use of "reusable" concept rockets is a very important step to facilitate the space adventure. If we accept the minimum cost of a rocket at $10 million, it will have to be repeated in every transport and mission. Besides, if we take into account the time it takes to build rockets, it will be understood that it is a very useful method.
The first launch attempts of the Falcon series took place on March 26, 2006 at the Kwajalein test site in the Pacific ocean. Just seconds after launch, the project was unsuccessful with an accident caused by a fuel drain hose. In the second flight attempt on March 25, 2007, a year after the first attempt, the rocket failed again due to the failure to stabilize the engine. The refresher engine cooling block designed for the Merlin engine group was intended to balance the temperature of the engines, but the high fuel capacity cooling blocks failed again at the end of the third attempt, with the acceleration generated by the excess fuel being hit by the stage engines. The fourth launch, considered revolutionary in space transportation, was successful in 2008. The rocket is the first privately owned and liquid-fueled rocket on its basis. After a year, the project succeeded with the fifth launch of the timeline and completed its own mission by taking the commercial mission load into orbit. The exterior of the rocket is made of hardened aluminum to withstand heat and friction, as well as the parachute system for pressure balance in the first part of the rocket. In addition, a more stable flight was carried out by ensuring the balance of pressure with high corrugated channels. Merlin 1A-1B-1C engines were used as the engine series. Lithium alloy coating taken to control costs and other parts of possible accidents were saved undamaged.
After successful Falcon 1 attempts, the new five-engine series Falcon 5 was canceled while in design, the main reason for this decision is the financial resources transferred to the Falcon 9, a more advanced rocket. The Falcon 5, while not much claim to technical details on paper, has accelerated to a great lay in terms of design and creativity and has positively advertised the company. There's an intriguing event on the roof of SpaceX, where financial calculations are conducted with a lot of expertise; The cost per piece of the lock systems to be used for the panel locks of the Falcon 5 rocket exceeded $1,500, the total cost of the locks, which should have been used 25 in total, exceeded $32,000, a very strange idea was put forward at the design meeting to reduce costs, the latch lock system used in the toilet doors, which cost $30, and the total cost of the system was reduced to $650 with the positive results of the safety tests.
When the dates showed July 4, 2010, the falcon 9's first attempt was made and succeeded. It is also the first rocket to fly through the Pacific Ocean. Merlin 1D engines have also been used, allowing the foundations of the next series of rockets (Falcon Heavy) to be laid. Taking on all the costs of the first rocket series and developing it with its own engineers, SpaceX was developed in the Falcon 9 series thanks to the capital provided by NASA's "COTS" program. With three successful rocket launches, he participated in the "Declaration of space law", thus gaining both economic support and noble membership. The Falcon 9 rocket is a two-stage rocket designed to reliably transport and place satellites and dragon vehicles into orbit. The most important feature, which is considered revolutionary, is that the reusability system is fully functioning for the first time. Although parachuted in at some stages of test flights and intended to be recovered to help engineers with the reusability system, SpaceX has not succeeded in its initial test launches. The rocket's main accelerators have been disabled due to the aerodynamic stresses you are exposed to as a result of separation, and after observations and reports, they have changed the design; The parachute method is replaced by the landing system, which is given accelerated power.
The first part of the rocket consists of aluminum-lithium alloy tanks containing nine Merlin engines, liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) propellant. Other important features of the Falcon 9 include the ability of rockets to have full propulsion performance and move at full power for 747 seconds to ensure grip power after takeoff.
It's a massive rocket that carries many design and technological features of its predecessors, but is much more powerful in general. It is designed with a combination of three Falcon 9 cores, with a total of 27 Merlin engines. A continuous problem and problems were encountered during the design and construction phase. Fixing the rocket's high-powered engines and designing its main body has been one of the big problems. In addition, the launch pad had to be built with tremendous engineering knowledge and angles. The biggest reason for this is that a full-capacity Falcon Heavy rocket is approximately equivalent to the mass of 8 passenger aircraft. Introduced as the world's most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy produces approximately 22 million Newtons during the climbing phase. The ultimate goal of this massive rocket is to transport humans into space. The closest to realizing colonial plans, especially for Mars and the moon, is the Falcon Heayv. Designed with a reusability system, the rocket is expected to make its first flight attempt in 2040. The support system, which forms the second part of the rocket, powers the first section. Provides a firing time of 345 seconds by a single Merlin 1D engine. However, in order to provide the rebootable capability in the support system of this massive rocket, the support rate has been greatly increased by adding a double redundant pyrophoric, igniting mechanism that ignites when in contact with the air.
A new rocket model has not yet been physically built after the Falcon 9 rockets, but in 2010, at the AIAA Joint Propulsion conference, SpaceX unveiled potential future rocket designs. One of these designs, the Falcon X, is a two-stage cargo and passenger transport rocket with a main core diameter of about 6 meters, more than 75 meters long. Three Merlin 2 engines with 70% power would be used during the launch phase, which would provide 16,000 Kilo Newtons of power. However, SpaceX is currently focused on the 667-Kilonewton LOX/LH2 model for the Raptor engine to deliver high performance. Given all the conditions, the Falcon X rocket is capable of carrying up to 38 metric tons of payload at LOE (low Earth orbit).
The Falcon XX is a single-core rocket with a diameter of 10 meters and a length of about 100 meters, using six Merlin 2 engines that operate at a 100% thrust setting in the first stage, creating a lifting thrust of 45,360 Kilonewtons (4,625 metric tons). Again, the upper stage of the vehicle was not mentioned at the conference, but the design of a Raptors with one or two engines would be a possible way to go. The Falcon XX would have engine output capability for part of its ascent. Low Earth orbit payload capacity is estimated at 140 metric tons. A heavy version of the three-core Falcon XX has not been offered by SpaceX, but an option is being considered to increase the vehicle's payload capacity by more than 400mt.
The Dragon module is a spacecraft designed to deliver cargo and humans to orbiting targets. It is the only spacecraft that can bring a significant amount of cargo to Earth. Currently, dragon can successfully carry cargo into space, but it is being redesigned with new constepts to transport humans. The first demonstration flight under NASA's commercial crew program was successfully contacted and connected with the Dragon module ISS (international space station) on March 2, 2019. In this way, the first cargo package was delivered. The Dragon module is capable of carrying 7 passengers in low-Earth orbit (LEO), and is capable of carrying on the head of the main rocket thanks to its compatible connections with other Falcon rockets.
Merlin 2 Engine
The Merlin engine, which powers the first stage of the Falcon 9, was developed and built in-house by SpaceX. A single Merlin engine that burns liquid oxygen and rocket kerosene creates thrust that rises to 914 kilos as it exits the Earth's atmosphere. Merlin's propulsion-to-weight ratio exceeds 150, making merlin the most efficient booster engine ever built, providing complete protection considering the structural and thermal safety gaps built to transport astronauts. It is basically an improved version of the apollo program's design used by the Saturn I and Saturn V rockets.
Raptor Motor and Design
The Raptor engine design is the new engine concept to replace the Merlin 2 on the resurered Falcon X and Falcon XX models. As noted by Tom Mueller in February 2014, the future heavy lifting rocket, which will be used to transport crew and cargo to Mars, will form the engine section of the Falcon X and XX, an upgraded version of the Falcon 9. The second phase of this engine will use new optimized raptor engines of the engines to be used on the way to Mars of the MCT spacecraft. SpaceX also stressed that future launch vehicles and falcon 9 will be reusable using the same methods developed.
The Mars Colonial Transporter, the MCT is a SpaceX concept for the company and Elon Musk's goal of building a space transportation system to deliver humans and cargo to Mars and maintain a permanent settlement on the Red Planet. It is not specified exactly what the MCT is (whether it is a launch vehicle, a spacecraft or the full infrastructure needed to fly humans to Mars). Musk has often said his plan is to send a manned mission to Mars within two decades with the vision of a future colony of several thousand people. Details about the MCT were not released except for a few clues indicating that the MCT spacecraft would be '100 times the size of an SUV' and launched on a launch vehicle much larger than the current Falcon 9. It has also been confirmed that this launch vehicle will use the Raptor engine.