SpaceX to launch 'Falcon 9 Block 5' on Thursday

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket. BRUCE WEAVER AFP — Getty Images

Musk said this is meant to be the final version of the SpaceX workhorse Falcon 9, allowing his engineers to focus on a larger interplanetary rocket called the BFR.

SpaceX is targeting launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on Thursday, May 10 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Eventually, the rocket will launch humans to the International Space Station, aboard SpaceX's Dragon crew capsule, still under development.

Why it matters: Previous incarnations of the Falcon 9 could be relaunched two times. SpaceX has its eye on bigger ambitions: The 350-foot-tall Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, which will help the company reach the red planet and was recently approved for production at the Port of Los Angeles. "If the weather remains favourable, the satellite will be launched around 4:12pm local time".

Maiden launch of Block 5 rocket.

Standing more than 20 stories tall, the Falcon 9 Block 5 is the latest, and SpaceX says the final, major upgrade to the workhorse commercial rocket.

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The reusability project is created to drive down the cost of the rocket.

The block 5 Falcon 9 features a variety of upgrades to improve reliability and performance and to make it easier for SpaceX to refurbish the first stages for additional flights.

"The 3.7-tonne satellite will travel vertically up to 36,000km from the launch pad before making adjustments for orbit, and it will take 10 days for that", project Director Mezbahuzzaman said.

The launch window for today is from 4:12 p.m.

Unlike all SpaceX missions in 2017 and 2018, the preflight fueling sequence will be very different.

Thursday's launch will be the ninth this year for SpaceX.

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"Falcon 9 threw the abort and they're part of the standard process", materials engineer Michael Hammersley said during a live webcast.

The countdown for the much-sought launch of Bangladesh's first satellite, Bangabandhu-1, has begun as all the necessary preparations in this regard have been completed. SpaceX will have its drone ship, called "Of Course I Still Love You", stationed in the Atlantic Ocean to catch it.

Most prominently, Falcon 9 has a long and productive future ahead of it, barring wildly unforeseen circumstances.

The second stage will reach its initial Earth orbit 8mins 19secs after launch, with the MVac engine shutting down for a 19min 19sec coast. The satellite is expected to expand communication capabilities across Bangladesh and in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia. Here, the satellite is seen during testing by its builders Thales Alenia Space. Bangladesh's launch is likely to start a price war in the region.

Also Read- How will the satellite benefit Bangladesh?

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