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SpaceX to debut upgraded Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX to debut upgraded Falcon 9 rocket

The mission will launch from LC-39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and will loft Bangladesh's first satellite, Bangabandhu-1, to Geostationary Transfer Orbit.

The rocket has redesigned helium tanks to prevent a recurrence of the launch pad explosion of September 2016.

The satellite, Bangabandhu-I, is designed and developed by Thales Alenia Space.

The Falcon 9 rocket Block 5 will be the first true test of SpaceX's reusable spacecraft.

SpaceX is scheduled to debut its latest and most advanced version of the Falcon 9 rocket Thursday. Just over eight minutes after lift-off, the first stage of the rocket will attempt to land on an autonomous drone ship floating more than three hundred miles off the Atlantic coast. The Block 5 is also outfitted with improved navigation fins - which help guide the rocket's first stage back to Earth after delivering a satellite into orbit - made from fire-resistant titanium.




SpaceX has twice reused a Falcon 9 booster.

"I think the F9 boosters could be used nearly indefinitely, so long as there is scheduled maintenance and careful inspections", Musk said on Reddit in October 2016. It's a routine mission in nearly every way except that this particular Falcon 9 pushes the new era of reusable rockets to a higher level.

In addition to being reusable, the Falcon 9 rocket Block 5 is built to the utmost quality - meeting NASA's stringent crew-carrying requirements and now holding a multibillion-dollar NASA contract to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station. RP-1 (rocket-grade kerosene) will begin flowing into the Falcon 9 first and second stages at T-35mins.

It is important to note that the launch window for today closes at 6.22pm local time (BST 4:22am), beyond which the launch would be called off. Forecasters are predicting an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather.

The Falcon 9 block 5 is meant for quicker reuse and reportedly will have a stronger heat shield and new landing legs, among other improvements. It was originally published at 11:59 a.m. EDT on May 10, 2018.


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