SpaceX's New Falcon 9 Rocket Block 5 Debuts Today

SpaceX's New Falcon 9 Rocket Block 5 Debuts Today

A Block 5 Falcon 9 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The upgraded SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket is built to be re-used ten times with minimal refurbishment between liftoffs.

The launch window opens at 4:12 p.m. EDT and runs until 6:22 p.m. EDT (2222 GMT).

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, has said this rocket will be "the final version" of the company's workhorse launcher.

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.

Bangabandhu 1 will provide broadcasting and telecommunication services to rural areas, as well as deliver direc-to-home television programming across Bangladesh.

Importantly, it will be a Block 5 design that will be used to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.




The Falcon Heavy is 230 feet tall and consists of three Falcon 9 first-stage cores. SpaceX is clearly trying to cut down the amount of time between when a rocket is first launched and when its first stage (and second stage, down the line) can be launched again.

-An enhanced heat shield at the base to better survive re-entry, which gives the rocket more reusability capabilities. SpaceX has also added features to enable the rocket's 16-story booster - the largest and most expensive part, as it makes up about 70% of total launch costs - to launch, land, and be reused.

The first step toward that goal begins today.

Once Falcon 9 is away, the first stage will burn for 2mins 31secs before all nine Merlin 1D engines shut down in preparation for stage separation at T+2mins 33secs.

Forecasters are predicting an 80 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for the launch attempt.

The first crew-carrying flights using this system could come as early as this year, SpaceX representatives have said.

Those improvements, SpaceX believes, will lead to more robust profit margins and help the already-prominent rocket gain an even deeper foothold in the launch services industry.

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