Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket to have the ability to be partially reusable for space explorations, is being designed and manufactured by SpaceX. This is the world's first two-stage orbital-class launch vehicle which is partially reusable. Since it is reusable this comparatively reduces the financial load of space access. Using this launch vehicle people as well as payloads can be transported to Earth's orbit and it's beyond.
It's worth noting that SpaceX has been revolutionizing space travel as well as reducing space travel costs drastically by using reusable launch vehicles.
Here is a timeline of how SpaceX's Falcon 9 has evolved over the years and got a position where they could launch astronauts into outer space.
The complete specification of the Falcon 9 is listed below:
OVERVIEW (Source : SpaceX)
HEIGHT : 70 m / 229.6 ft
DIAMETER : 3.7 m / 12 ft
MASS : 549,054 kg / 1,207,920 lb
PAYLOAD TO LEO : 22,800 kg / 50,265 lb
PAYLOAD TO GTO : 8,300 kg / 18,300 lb
PAYLOAD TO MARS : 4,020 kg / 8,860 lb
Falcon 9’s first stage is manufactured by nine Merlin 1D engines and aluminium-lithium alloy tanks which contain liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) propellant.
Falcon 9 generates more than 1.7 million pounds of thrust at sea level. The nine Merlin engines on the first stage are gradually throttled near the end of the first-stage flight to limit launch vehicle acceleration as the rocket’s mass decreases with the burning of fuel. These engines are also used to reorient the first stage prior to re-entry and to decelerate the vehicle for landing. This is equipped with four landing legs made of carbon fiber with aluminum honeycomb to withstand the impact during the takeoff and landing of the rocket.
Merlin is a family of rocket engines developed by SpaceX for use on its Falcon 1, Falcon 9, and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles. Merlin engines use a rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) and liquid oxygen as rocket propellants in a gas-generator power cycle. The Merlin engine was originally designed for recovery and reuse.
The second stage, powered by a single Merlin Vacuum Engine, delivers Falcon 9’s payload to the desired orbit. The second stage engine ignites a few seconds after stage separation and can be restarted multiple times to place multiple payloads into different orbits.
Merlin Vacuum features a larger exhaust section and a significantly larger expansion nozzle to maximize the engine’s efficiency in the vacuum of space. Its combustion chamber is regeneratively cooled, while the expansion nozzle is radiatively cooled. At full power, the Merlin Vacuum engine operates with the greatest efficiency ever for an American-made hydrocarbon rocket engine.
The interstage is a composite structure that connects the first and second stages and houses the pneumatic pushers that allow the first and second stages to separate during flight.
GRID FINS :
Falcon 9 is equipped with four hypersonic grid fins positioned at the base of the interstage. They orient the rocket during reentry by moving the center of pressure.
Made of a carbon composite material, the fairing protects satellites on their way to orbit.
Dragon is capable of carrying up to 7 people and/or cargo in the spacecraft’s pressurized section. In addition, Dragon can carry cargo in the spacecraft’s unpressurized trunk, which can also accommodate secondary payloads.