Watch the Debut of SpaceX's New Falcon 9 'Block 5' Rocket
11 May, 2018, 09:50 | Author: Enrique Watson
SpaceX (SPACE) is set to launch a Bangladeshi satellite today atop a Falcon 9 Block 5 - the latest and final major upgrade to the rocket.
But an automatic abort was triggered just 58 seconds before the planned liftoff time of 5:47 p.m. EDT (2147 GMT), and SpaceX couldn't diagnose and fix the issue before the launch window closed at 6:22 p.m. EDT (2222 GMT).
In a blissfully detailed prelaunch briefing, SpaceX CEO delved into the details of the audacious future ahead of the company's new flagship rocket, Falcon 9 Block 5.
It's clear that the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Block 5 launch is going to be a major step forward for the company, and may serve to finally establish the company as a provider of economically viable spaceflight.
The fun doesn't end with takeoff.
The reason Musk calls Falcon 9 Block 5 the "final version" is that SpaceX's 6,000 employees are shifting almost all of their engineering efforts to focus on the company's Big Falcon Rocket.
Being in a position to kick off, land and launch with minimal refurbishment amongst flights has become a fundamental focus for SpaceX. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said the launcher is "most powerful" and features the most "reusable design to date".
Current weather reports suggest the mission has an 80% chance of lifting off, and SpaceX has a window of about two hours to launch the mission. Additionally, the company hopes to reduce the turnaround time between launches of a Falcon 9 booster, now several months, to a matter of weeks.
A key part of the mission will be landing the rocket's first-stage booster once it returns to Earth. The satellite will provide direct-to-home services and video distribution, along with other small aperture terminal communications.
The Falcon 9 Block-5 comes equipped with about 100 upgrades for greater power, safety and reusability than its Block-4 predecessor.
The debut mission will launch Bangabandhu Satellite-1, a satellite satellite for its Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. Going into Thursday's launch, SpaceX's landing record stood at 24 successful booster recoveries, 12 on land and 12 on droneships.
"Departing for Florida to witness historic Bangabandhu Satellite-1 launching", Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for the country's Information and Communication Technology Division, said via Twitter on Monday.
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