SpaceX has about 6 recovered boosters which will be reused. Most will be reused and not recovered in the next several launches.
SpaceX ic counting on Block 5 to succeed with increased reusability and for faster relaunching. If any design or manufacturing flaws are discovered in the first several Block 5 Falcon 9s, or if Block 5 is less reusable than SpaceX then SpaceX could have delays in its launch schedule.
The first Block 5 Falcon 9 first stage is on the test stand at their McGregor, Texas test facility.
The maiden flight is planned for April 2018, with the Bangabandhu-1 satellite.
SpaceX Block 5 improvements:
Alterations are focused on increasing the speed of production and efficiency of re-usability. SpaceX aims to fly each Block 5 booster ten times with only inspections in between, and up to 100 times with refurbishment
For increased payload:
* 7–8% more thrust by uprating the engines;
* an improved flight control system for an optimized angle of attack on the descent, lowering landing fuel requirements.
For reusability endurance:
* a reusable heat shield protecting the engines and plumbing at the base of the rocket;
* more temperature-resistant titanium casted grid fins;
* a thermal protection coating on the first stage to limit reentry heating damage;
* Redesigned and requalified valves for higher levels and much longer duration.
For rapid reusability:
* a set of black retractable landing legs for rapid recovery and shipping.
Block 5 is planned to launch astronauts for the first time in late 2018. NASA requires seven flights before the vehicle can be certified for human spaceflight.
Brian Wang is a prolific business-oriented writer of emerging and disruptive technologies. He is known for insightful articles that combine business and technical analysis that catches the attention of the general public and is also useful for those in the industries. He is the sole author and writer of nextbigfuture.com, the top online science blog. He is also involved in angel investing and raising funds for breakthrough technology startup companies.
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.