Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

SpaceX launch for first Falcon 9 Block 5 set for Thursday evening

SpaceX launch for first Falcon 9 Block 5 set for Thursday evening

Falcon 9 Block 5 will also be the latest development of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as the company will focus on the development of the BFR.

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

The upgrades are all created to make Falcon 9 rockets, which SpaceX has already been recovering and reusing to cut costs on future missions, more durable. The satellite is expected to expand communication capabilities across Bangladesh and in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The rocket and the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 were set vertically on a launch pad at Kennedy Space Centre in the United States on Thursday morning local time, it said.

Musk has said that the Block 5 is the final upgrade to its Falcon 9 rocket system.

SpaceX, which holds a multibillion-dollar NASA contract to fly astonauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), wants to use its Dragon capsule and the Block 5 Falcon 9 to fulfill the contract. 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. The Block 5, however, is created to fly up to 100 times, although this will involve some refurbishment and inspections after every 10 flights. It features a number of incremental improvements over its predecessor, the Block 4, that are created to make the rocket more reusable, as well as providing increased engine thrust and enhanced landing control.

The Falcon 9 rocket Block 5 will be the first true test of SpaceX's reusable spacecraft.

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

The total cost of one of its Falcon 9 launches is estimated to reach £44 million ($61m), while each of its larger Falcon Heavy flights costs £65 million ($90m).

The first crew launch is tentatively planned for December 2018.

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