After the March 2017 launch of a previous Falcon 9 rocket, Elon Musk said that, "The most important part of Block 5 will be operating the engines at their full thrust capability, which is about 7 or 8 percent nearly 10 percent more than what they now run at". The launch Thursday will boost Bangladesh's first communications satellite into orbit. They will eventually be used to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The block 5 upgrades are created to meet the stringent safety requirements for such missions. A fully-reusable Falcon 9 will realize that dream, and the CEO is "certain" that SpaceX can and will build it - BFR may be the new aspiration, but Falcon 9 will continue to be the company's proving ground for years to come.
The Bangabandhu-1 is scheduled to launch at 5:47 p.m. ET. Forecasters are predicting an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather. The 8,000-pound spacecraft is expected to spend up to 15 years in orbit serving countries ranging from Turkmenistan to the west and the Philippines to the east, giving the Bangladesh Communications Satellite Company a digital foothold in the region. Once in orbit and checked out by Thales, the satellite will be operated by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
Just a few minutes before the launch of Falcon 9 Rocket on Thursday, SpaceX rescheduled its liftoff.
The Block 5 version of the rocket also includes upgraded electronics and guidance systems, and new and additional thermal-protection technology to protect against fires in the engine and on the booster's landing legs, Musk said. "Falcon 9 Block 5 is created to be capable of 10 or more flights with very limited refurbishment as SpaceX continues to strive for rapid reusability and extremely high reliability". "It's a reliability upgrade that combines reliability and reusability".
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With just 58 seconds remaining in the countdown, Falcon 9 threw an abort just as the vehicle took over the countdown. The new tanks are created to eliminate that failure mode and are required for NASA's commercial crew program.
The rocket's grid fins, which help steer the first-stage back to Earth for landing, are now all made of titanium - a change from the company's use of aluminum, which Musk said "got cooked pretty hard" in the past.
The takeoff will be neat - the landing will be even neater than neat. "The rocket and cargo are in good condition, and the teams are working on the possibility of tomorrow backing the launch at 4:14 PM", - reported in SpaceX. "We tried to summarize all of these lessons learned into a booster that then is able to fly and be recovered and fly again multiple times without a lot of refurbishment".
This first Block 5 rocket, however, will go through "rigorous" testing and analysis and will not be re-flown for a couple of months, Musk said.