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SpaceX's New Falcon 9 Rocket Block 5 Debuts Today

11 May, 2018, 01:35 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • SpaceX launch for first Falcon 9 Block 5 set for Thursday evening

Known as the Falcon 9 Block 5, the rocket includes improvements such as upgraded heat shields to protect the rocket's base during re-entry.

However, the launch time slipped before being scrapped on Thursday entirely.

According to Elon Musk, the new Falcon 9 Block 5 can be used up to 100 times with minimal revision.

During a conference call Thursday before the flight, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he expects to see "Same day re-flight of the same rocket", as early as next year.

Part of SpaceX's goal is not just the highly publicized eventual colonization of Mars but the proliferation of access to space in general - regardless of nation, geopolitics, and economic development status.

Forecasters are predicting an 80 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for the launch attempt. The "older" version of the Falcon 9 that have flown recently were Block 3 or 4 designs and for "full thrust" operation.

This launch is a series of firsts, with the Bangabandhu 1 also being Bangladesh's first communications satellite.

On board the rocket is the country of Bangladesh's first communications satellite.

"Block 5 basically summarizes all that we learned on reusability", Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of build and flight reliability at SpaceX, said during a news conference in April.

Engineers at SpaceX's test facilities have been pushing spent rocket cores to the limits to identify the stress thresholds for the Falcon 9's various components.

After it completes 10 flights, the Block 5 will be inspected and repaired, then used in 10 more flights.

The satellite, apart from improving the communication services in Bangladesh, will also aid neighbouring Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan.

The Falcon Heavy is 230 feet tall and consists of three Falcon 9 first-stage cores.

-Retractable black landing legs, compared to the Block 4's white ones. In all, the rocket has a 130-minute launch window. "That's basically the key thing on block 5".

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