In an exciting announcement, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has revealed that an "upgraded" version of the Falcon 9 missile will be launched soon. The missile will be used to deliver a satellite for EchoStar Corporation.

The missile, scheduled to launch on Jan. 30 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will feature a reusable rocket, responded Musk to a query on Twitter. This launch is being anticipated as one of the last times a Falcon 9 booster will be used by SpaceX. The rocket will be carrying a 5.5-metric ton communication satellite to a geostationary transfer orbit.

He also added that the upgraded version of the Falcon 9 rocket, also known as Block 5, would greatly improve the rocket's performance and reusability. The new rocket would be commissioned for flight by the end of 2017.

The Falcon 9 is a two-stage-to orbit rocket developed and manufactured by Space X. There are three versions of the Falcon 9 series of rockets - namely Falcon 9 v1.0, Falcon 9 v1.1 and Falcon 9 Full Thrust. Out of the three, only the Full Thrust variant is in use.

This rocket comes equipped with a reusable launch system and is powered by liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene. The Falcon 9 series is designed to lift loads ranging from medium to heavy categories.

Musk had hosted an "Ask Me Anything" session on Twitter, where his followers could interact with him. During this session, he mentioned that the rocket had been equipped with new thrusters and improved legs.

SpaceX has claimed that the Falcon series of rockets are the most powerful in the world. They can carry over 54 metric tons into orbit, thanks to a first stage comprising of three Falcon 9 engines.

SpaceX commenced flight once more, after a four-and-a-half month hiatus, on Jan. 21. The rocket had carried 10 satellites for Iridium, a communication company, and had delivered them to low-orbit the Earth. The gap in flight operations was due to an explosion which had destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket and the $200 million satellite it was carrying.

The launch will put SpaceX back on its pursuit to fulfil its ambitions. There are currently 70 delayed missions, amounting to a total of more than $10 billion. The Wall Street Journal recently accessed internal documents of SpaceX which suggest that the company plans to fly 27 times this year, the most it has ever done.

Elon Musk is excited about the launch, as is the entire community. Everyone is speculating what SpaceX will introduce in its newest rocket.

Photo: Heisenberg Media | Flickr

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