Saturday, 22 September, 2018

SpaceX Debuts the Falcon 9 Block 5, Says Launch was Successful

Stepping into the future SpaceX Debuts the Falcon 9 Block 5, Says Launch was Successful
Theresa Hayes | 13 May, 2018, 13:14

The Falcon 9 Block 5 was launched for the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 Mission, which took place from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX on Friday blasted off its newest and most powerful Falcon 9 rocket, known as the Block 5, carrying the first high-orbit communications satellite for Bangladesh and marking a leap forward in re-usability for the California-based aerospace company.

The recoverable Block 5 booster is meant to be reused at least 10 times with minimal refurbishment involving flights, so allowing more typical rods at lower price tag - a secret into the SpaceX firm version. After stage separation, SpaceX will try to land the Falcon 9's first stage on its drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. For these missions, the Falcon 9 must be certified as man-rated. Officials in that area expect Bangladesh's first satellite to improve telephone, data, television, Internet, and emergency communications throughout Bangladesh and beyond - going as far as Indonesia and the Philippines.

It came a day after the original launch countdown was halted one minute before blastoff time due to a technical problem detected by the rocket's onboard computers.

Reliability is crucial to the next milestone for SpaceX: Putting astronauts on top of Falcon 9 in the company's Crew Dragon capsule. If things happen as planned, it will be the first time that a rocket will carry people to space since the end of the United States space shuttle program in 2011.

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk said launching the same rocket twice within 24 hours will be "crazy hard", but he hopes to pull off the feat as early as next year. The Block 5 upgrades, according to Thursday statements from Musk reported by Ars Technica, have been learned bit by bit since the company's founding. It is expected to be the first SpaceX vehicle to satisfy NASA's standards for its Commercial Crew Program to carry agency astronauts to the International Space Station. By comparison, the other reused boosters that SpaceX has flown until now had a maximum of two launches each. Managed by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), it uses 26 Ku-band and 14 C-band transponders and was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space on the Spacebus 4000B2 platform.

In a televised message on Saturday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: "The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will be a great addition to our information technology, heralding our entry into the satellite club of the world".