SpaceX plans to launch the Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket today
- Author: Joe Gonzales May 12, 2018,
May 12, 2018, 4:25
The first Falcon 9 Block 5 version blasted off from Cape Canaveral at 1:14 p.m. It marks the first flight of the Block 5 batch of Falcon 9 rockets, which incorporate a number of upgrades to improve performance, increase the service life of the booster and reduce turnaround time between recovery and relaunch.
About 10 minutes after launch, the first stage of the Falcon 9 came back in for a pretty landing back on Earth.
In addition, the new booster features a suite of reliability upgrades created to satisfy NASA's stringent crew-carrying standards, because SpaceX will use the Block 5 - as well as the company's Dragon capsule- to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
According to NASA's current estimates, Boeing could conduct its first crewed test flight in November, and SpaceX should notch its first crewed test mission in December. In total, more than 50 of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets have been launched to date. Going forward, competition from other companies and advancements in reusable rocket technology will likely help drive down costs even further, and that's incredibly exciting. "This rocket is really created to be - the intent is to be the most reliable rocket ever built".
This type of Falcon 9 will also likely be the version of the rocket that one day flies humans to orbit for NASA under a contract with SpaceX.
The rocket is slated to take off from SpaceX's launchpad at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Finally, congratulations to Bangladesh on the successful launch of their first geostationary communications satellite.
She thanked France for helping Bangladesh make the satellite, the USA for taking the satellite to orbit, and Russian Federation for leasing the orbital slot to Bangladesh.
The launching, done on behalf of the Bangladesh government, enables use of most areas of the nation. Bangabandhu Satellite-1's mission is expected to last at least 15 years. It's the first satellite belonging to Bangladesh.