SpaceX launches Falcon 9 Block 5

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket. BRUCE WEAVER AFP — Getty Images

The goal of the flight is to launch the Bangabandhu 1 communications satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space in France to provide Ku-band and C-band television and data services across Bangladesh.

It's created to reduce the country's digital divide in both big cities and rural areas by providing internet, television and other communication services.

Some people see SpaceX's tactics as risky because they test new rocket features on active missions, rather than performing test launches.

It has stronger landing legs, better landing control and is completely reusable.

Falcon 9 B1046 - the first Block 5 booster - is prepared for an inaugural launch on May 10. The new Block 5 would change that; it would require little work between flights aside from inspections, refueling, attaching the payload and fairing. In total, more than 50 of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets have been launched to date.

F9 B1046 offers a glimpse of its Block 5 Merlins, octaweb, and heat shielding.

Eventually, it will be replaced by the BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket, which will be capable of flying into deep-space and taking commercial passengers around the world in record time by making short trips on the edge of the atmosphere.

With just under one minute left on the countdown, SpaceX's new Block 5 Falcon 9 was stalled by an auto-abort sequence. The block 5 upgrades are created to meet the stringent safety requirements for such missions.

Musk in 2016 described the upgrades as "significantly improving performance & ease of reusability". The payload fairing has also been upgraded, which will theoretically help with recovery, which SpaceX hasn't been able to do yet.

Thursday's launch will be the ninth this year for SpaceX.

According to sources at SpaceX, the satellite would be launched in-between 2:12am to 4:22am BdST on Friday.

The rocket's first stage - the section that returns to Earth for reuse - is where most of the shielding improvements were made.

Importantly, it will be a Block 5 design that will be used to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.

SpaceX is now testing a system to recover the fairings of its Falcon 9 rockets. Per Musk, building a recoverable first stage represents about 60% of the cost of a launch, with the expendable upper stage and carbon fiber nosecone accounting for another 30%, plus 10% for the operations of the launch itself.

The launch process has two phases - the first is the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) and the second phase is Satellite in Orbit. "We're all excited about that", Hans Koenigsmann, a SpaceX vice president, said during a press conference last month. At the time of this update, the rescheduled time for liftoff was aimed at 5:47 PM Eastern Time (that's 21:47 GMT).

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