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SpaceX's New Falcon 9 Rocket Block 5 Debuts Today


Meanwhile, SpaceX will launch its first Falcon 9 block 5 rocket on Thursday with a satellite owned by Bangladesh as the payload.

Launch window to start at 4:12 p.m. SpaceX officials worked to determine the cause of the abort, then opted to scrub the launch for Thursday and reschedule it for 1:14 p.m. Friday. A Falcon 9 rocket will deliver Bangabandhu-1 to a geostationary transfer orbit from Cape Kennedy Center launching pad of Orlando in Florida. It was not immediately clear whether SpaceX would be able to resume the countdown and proceed with the maiden flight of its Block-5 Falcon 9 rocket or postpone the launch to another day.

The fun doesn't end with takeoff.

It will be just another routine launch, but should serve as a proving ground for the Block 5, which Musk has referred to as the "finished version" of its reusable Falcon 9 rockets.

"It is the final substantial upgrade to the Falcon 9 design, although we may make minor upgrades as we continue to strive for rapid reusability and extremely high reliability". Going into Thursday's launch, SpaceX's landing record stood at 24 successful booster recoveries, 12 on land and 12 on droneships. The Block 5, however, is created to fly up to 100 times, although this will involve some refurbishment and inspections after every 10 flights. The Elon Musk-led company is committed to a strategy of returning its boosters to Earth in an attempt to reduce the costs of spaceflight. The spacecraft will provide a variety of broadcast and communications services to residents of the densely populated South Asian nation, according to French company Thales Alenia Space, which built Bangabandhu 1.




The rocket has redesigned helium tanks to prevent a recurrence of the launch pad explosion of September 2016. But so far, it has relaunched 11 of its workhorse Falcon 9 rockets, one time each.

A second stage COPV apparently ruptured during a pre-launch test September 1, 2016, triggering a catastrophic explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 and its satellite payload and heavily damaged the launch complex.

What is Block 5? The company has also upped the fault tolerance of numerous rocket's components in line with the higher safety standards of crewed spacecraft.

This first Block 5 rocket, however, will go through "rigorous" testing and analysis and will not be re-flown for a couple of months, Musk said.

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