May 24, 2018

SpaceX To Launch Final Version Of Its Falcon 9 Rocket

11 May 2018, 12:32 | Camille Rivera

NASA Astronauts

Two NASA Astronauts to Take Live Spacewalk Week

Another historic first for SpaceX is scheduled to take place Thursday evening, with a launch window opening at 4:12 p.m. - the first launch for a new generation Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket.

Bangabandhu Satellite-1 prepares for launch atop SpaceX's Falcon 9 Block 5. rocket at NASA at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

The launch window opens at 4:12 p.m. Fox 35's meteorologist Jayme King says that there is an 0% chance of rain at launch time. It's the first Falcon 9 Block 5, the most powerful, most reusable, and most likely last version of SpaceX's workhorse orbital launcher. The "block 5" version of the booster incorporates numerous design changes to improve performance and safety, while allowing the company to refly first stages 10 times or more.

SpaceX fans eager to watch the second launch of the company's massive Falcon Heavy rocket should forget about witnessing a second spectacle in June and sit tight for a few more months.

Bangabandhu 1 will be Bangladesh's first communications satellite. The block 5 upgrades are created to meet the stringent safety requirements for such missions.

Musk said he was proud of the SpaceX team who worked hard prior to the launch to make it a successful one. In total, more than 50 of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets have been launched to date. The satellite is expected to bring Ku-band coverage to Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal in addition to surrounding countries. At T-38mins, the SpaceX Launch Director will verify that all is ready for the start of propellant loading. Once launched, the spacecraft will provide broadcast and communications services to the residents of the South Asian nation - as reported by French company Thales Alenia Space which built the satellite.

Yet SpaceX engineers have constantly tinkered with the rocket over the past decade, adding new features, increasing efficiency, and boosting power.

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