Spacenews has an interview with Spacex CEO Gwynne Shotwell. Here are the highlights.
* Spacex will increase 2018 launches by 50% to up to 30 launches over 2017 and then go to 30-40 launches per year. Those will not include Spacex launches of their own internet satellite network.
* the first Falcon 9 block 5 rocket will ship by the end of 2017
* Block 5 engines will reach 190,000 pound-force (lbf) of thrust at sea level, up from the current Merlin 1D’s 176,000 lbf at sea level
* the Block 5 Falcon 9 should be able to refly “10 or more times” with limited refurbishment. The Falcon Heavy will also use Block 5 cores, she said, with the exception of the first mission.
* SpaceX is in the process of gaining Air Force certification for the Block 5 and for the Falcon Heavy. That process requires three flights before carrying an EELV payload, which SpaceX will do, though Shotwell added that the company will be able to compete for EELV missions with Falcon Heavy before completing those required flights. She declined to confirm the Falcon Heavy’s inaugural launch date, saying only that SpaceX is aiming for December, though it could slip to January.
* SpaceX plans to supersede the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy with the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR starting in about 2022
* SpaceX plans to attempt second stage recoveries from the existing Falcon mainly as practice and learning how to make the second stage recovery work for the BFR
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He gave the recent keynote presentation at Monte Jade event with a talk entitled the Future for You. He gave an annual update on molecular nanotechnology at Singularity University on nanotechnology, gave a TEDX talk on energy, and advises USC ASTE 527 (advanced space projects program). He has been interviewed for radio, professional organizations. podcasts and corporate events. He was recently interviewed by the radio program Steel on Steel on satellites and high altitude balloons that will track all movement in many parts of the USA.
He fundraises for various high impact technology companies and has worked in computer technology, insurance, healthcare and with corporate finance.
He has substantial familiarity with a broad range of breakthrough technologies like age reversal and antiaging, quantum computers, artificial intelligence, ocean tech, agtech, nuclear fission, advanced nuclear fission, space propulsion, satellites, imaging, molecular nanotechnology, biotechnology, medicine, blockchain, crypto and many other areas.