Have you ever wondered how all the spacecraft that come from SpaceX, Elon Musk's space company, worked? Whether you've been interested in SpaceX from the beginning or you've only gained interest recently, a recent video uploaded on Youtube shared details on how the prominent space company's spacecraft work.Watch below:
Here's a few takes from the video above:
The Falcon 1
The Falcon vehicles' history started when the Falcon 1 was created. It was a lightweight launch vehicle was the first private spacecraft that could handle bringing cargo into low-Earth orbit.
The Falcon 1 had two stages it consisted of, where the first stage had a supporting element that had an engine, fuel tanks, and a parachute. The fuel was kerosene, and the oxidizing agent was liquid oxygen.
The second stage also had an engine and fuel tanks. However, the engine had less thrust than the first stage's engine.
The first three launches of the Falcon 1 failed for different reasons, but they decided to launch it a few more times.
The fourth and fifth flights succeeded, but the results weren't satisfactory. The biggest issue with the Falcon 1 was that it wasn't capable of high payloads, which led to low demand. This led to the development of the Falcon 1 ending.
The Falcon 9
SpaceX wanted to create something more capable, which is why they made the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 is more capable of hauling cargo with a whopping 23 tons of cargo capacity.
The Falcon 9 is used by SpaceX to send their Starlink network satellites out to space. One Starlink satellite weight around 260 kilograms (573 pounds). There could be a maximum of 88 Starlink satellites being carried by the Falcon 9 if they don't return the first stage of the ship.
There are two stages in the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which uses kerosene and liquid oxygen as its fuel. They are currently using the Falcon 9 in various operations. None of its operations have failed.
The Falcon 9's first stage is reusable. It can land back on Earth and be used for another operation.
Starlink satellites aren't the only cargo the Falcon 9 can carry. It can also deliver Dragon cargo ships to the International Space Station.
The Dragon family
Dragon 1, carries a 6-ton payload from the Earth. This drone supplies the ISS with everything it needs, and it also takes goods back to Earth.
However, Dragon 1 cannot carry the same weight when going back to Earth when heading back to Earth from the ISS, it can only carry about 3 tons. Even if it has some drawbacks, Dragon 1 is the only cargo spacecraft in the world that can return any cargo at all from the ISS.
The successor of Dragon 1 is Dragon 2. Dragon 2 is a manned ship, and the creation of it was ordered by NASA. The ship is designed to carry a 4-man crew up to the ISS and back down to Earth. But of course, it can't be launched into orbit on its own.
This is where the Falcon 9 booster comes into play. Dragon 2 can dock on its own on the ISS without assistance, unlike its predecessor. It can also get back to Earth by making use of parachutes.
But in case an accident happens, a manned landing is possible thanks to the eight SuperDraco engines on the ship.
The Falcon Heavy
When people strive to create something new, they will most likely make something better. That's what happened when an ultra-heavy launch vehicle was developed by SpaceX, which could handle up to 64 tons of cargo.
When it was first launched, it was the most powerful and heaviest launch vehicle in the world. This vehicle is the Falcon Heavy.
The Falcon Heavy was based upon the Falcon 9. Its first test was conducted two years ago carrying Elon Musk's car, a Tesla Roadster, into orbit.
The first stage of the Falcon Heavy consists of three parts. The base of the launch vehicle is the Falcon 9 FT, which has two side boosters attached to it. 27 extremely powerful engines are contained within the first stage, which is 9 engines in each part.
The second stage of the Falcon Heavy isn't special in any way. This stage contains one engine that's like the one on the Falcon 9.
The Falcon Heavy was intended to send people into space. The initial plan was to send people to the moon and Mars, but scientists decided to use it to send large cargo loads out to space instead. Dragon ships can be attached to the Falcon Heavy if needed.
SpaceX is currently developing the Starship manned spacecraft. It will be larger than any of the other spacecraft in SpaceX's portfolio. It will be able to deliver over 100 tons of cargo into orbit.
They plan to launch it in two years. It won't be a simple test launch to orbit. They will be sending it to Mars.