SpaceX Delays Launch Of Upgraded Rocket

Olive Hawkins
May 11, 2018

SpaceX, the USA company handling the launch of Bangabandhu-1, country's first geostationary communications satellite into orbit, has sought to assure Bangladeshi officials that the rocket will be launched around 4:14 pm (local time) on Friday.

A backup launch window opens on Friday, May 11 at 4:14 p.m. EDT, and closes at 6:21 p.m. EDT.

The Falcon 9 Block 5 includes improvements such as upgraded heat shields to protect the rocket's base during re-entry.

Just a few minutes before the launch of Falcon 9 Rocket on Thursday, SpaceX rescheduled its liftoff.

The fun doesn't end with takeoff.

SpaceX will attempt to launch an upgraded version of its Falcon 9 rocket Thursdayafternoon from Space Coast. This new Falcon 9 is created to capitalize on SpaceX's reusable rocket technology in a whole new way by dramatically shortening the time between uses.

Many of these tweaks are also focused on turnaround time for these rockets.

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SpaceX has twice reused a Falcon 9 booster. The satellite will be transferred into a geostationary orbit approximately 33 minutes after launch, according to SpaceX. The satellite will provide direct-to-home services and video distribution, along with other small aperture terminal communications. Block 5's design should allow for up to 10 relaunches - or up to 100 times if the rockets are refurbished.

SpaceX is slated to launch an un-crewed demonstration mission to the International Space Station, as well as an in-flight abort test, which is meant to show how the crew compartment can safely pull away from the rocket in an emergency. There is an 80 percent probability of acceptable weather conditions.

The launch was set to send Bangladesh's first communications satellite into orbit. Once in orbit and checked out by Thales, the satellite will be operated by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

When that happens, it will mark the first time since the end of the U.S. space shuttle program in 2011 that a rocket has launched from the United States carrying people to space. The new tanks are created to eliminate that failure mode and are required for NASA's commercial crew program. SpaceX has also added features to enable the rocket's 16-story booster - the largest and most expensive part, as it makes up about 70% of total launch costs - to launch, land, and be reused.

-Retractable black landing legs, compared to the Block 4's white ones.

SpaceX has not yet announced what exactly triggered the automatic abort.

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