The "Block 5" booster, the final substantial upgrade to SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle, was launched at 4.14 p.m. from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre, starting its maiden flight, Xinhua reported. With the new (and possibly final) style of the Falcon 9 was the first satellite ever for the nation of Bangladesh.
After launch, the first-stage booster of the rocket detached and guided itself back to Earth, where it landed safely on a platform, or drone ship, in the ocean so it can be flown once again on a future mission.
Subscribe to Times of San Diego's free daily email newsletter! . The first crewed flights of the Block 5-Dragon system could come as early as this year, SpaceX representatives have said.
The satellite launch, done on behalf the Bangladesh government, will allow internet access to all corners of the country.
The Falcon 9 Block-5 comes equipped with about 100 upgrades for greater power, safety and reusability than its Block-4 predecessor. He has said that his goal is to launch the same booster twice within 24 hours.
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The Block 5's upgrades take another step in this direction.
The company stated that the Block 5 model "is created to be capable of 10 or more refurbishments, and is very limited", which will help shorten the time between successive launches, which the company has been doing for some time.
The Falcon 9 will eventually transport astronauts to the ISS under NASA's Commercial Crew Program. According to a SpaceX news release, the rocket's second stage deployed the 3.9-ton (3.5 metric tons) satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit about 33 minutes after the Falcon 9 lifted off from KSC's historic Launch Pad 39A. But even without the Block 5, SpaceX is already slated to have an extremely productive year, with 30 launches on deck for 2018. "This rocket is really created to be - the intent is to be the most reliable rocket ever built".
"Today, we launched Banghabandhu Satellite-1".
Besides missions to the space station, the new rocket will be used to launch U.S. Air Force global positioning satellites and other high-value, military and national security payloads. The satellite Bangabandhu-1 is named after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the assassinated founder of Bangladesh.