Space X is ramping up production of its Falcon 9 rocket and to prove it, it showcased an image on its Instagram account of as many as five of the iconic boosters currently being constructed at its facilities. This comes just a few weeks after Space X COO, Gwynne Shotwell, announced that the company was now leaving the testing phase for the Falcon 9 and would begin mass production.
The last look we had at a Falcon 9 launch saw it successfully launch its payload into orbit, but not quite touch-down successfully on the drone barge. In that case one of the landing legs failed to lock out, but it was the closest landing attempt yet, so confidence is high that the first official water-touchdown will take place in 2016.
With that in mind and the additional contracts Space X has managed to pick up in recent months, it’s looking to the future, where it will be able to launch far more often and that means that it needs more rockets. Even if the first stage can be made reusable, there’s no telling how many times it can be reused and there’s no gaurantee all of them will make it back safely. So a lot of Falcon 9s are now being built.
This faster productions schedule will see Space X go from producing a handful of Falcon 9 core modules per year, to over 30, some of which will also be used in future launches of the biggest Space X rocket so far designed, the Falcon Heavy (thanks Gizmodo).
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KitGuru Says: We could see Space X Falcon 9 launches happening every few weeks by the end of this year. We are living in very exciting times.