SpaceX to debut upgraded Falcon 9 rocket

11 May, 2018, 04:17 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • SpaceX to debut upgraded Falcon 9 rocket

Bangabandhu-1 is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 4:42 p.m. ET on Thursday - a delay of 30 minutes from its original target.

It is understood the launch has been rescheduled for around the same time it was meant to take place today.

The flight marks the debut of the "Block 5" version of the Falcon 9 rocket, intended by its designers to be the final iteration, suited for flying ten times or more and carrying humans to the International Space Station. "Block 5 is created to be capable of 10 or more flights with very limited refurbishment", the company explains, on its website.

SpaceX plans to launch Bangladesh's first geostationary communications satellite on Thursday around 4:42 p.m. ET.

The Block 5 was also created to meet NASA's stringent crew-carrying requirements.

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.

SpaceX is planning to launch a satellite for Bangladesh later today (May 10th). The satellite is expected to bring Ku-band coverage to Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal in addition to surrounding countries.

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Until now, SpaceX has only ever used any of its boosters twice.

It will be the first mission for the upgraded rocket.

SpaceX tries to re-use rockets, payload fairings, boosters and other parts to try to cut down on the cost of each rocket mission.

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

The intelligence satellite, built by Northrop Grumman Corp, failed to separate from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, according to USA officials. The new tanks are created to eliminate that failure mode and are required for NASA's commercial crew program. Block 5 has more powerful engines, much more resilient components to survive the harsh requirements of re-entering the air and landing, less weight (notably by its unpainted components, like the dark interstage) plus a easily generated arrangement.

Even the landing legs have been redesigned to allow engineers to retract them after touchdown. But so far, it has relaunched 11 of its workhorse Falcon 9 rockets, one time each.

'Block 5 is being qualified for 10+ flights, but we'll continue to expand for more, ' Lambert said. "We tried to summarize all of these lessons learned into a booster that then is able to fly and be recovered and fly again multiple times without a lot of refurbishment".

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