SpaceX Launch Time & Live Stream for Falcon 9 Block 5

The satellite is expected to expand communication capabilities across Bangladesh and in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia.

But most eyes will be focused on the shiny new 23-story rocket carrying the satellite.

The block 5 Falcon 9 features a variety of upgrades to improve reliability and performance and to make it easier for SpaceX to refurbish the first stages for additional flights.

The Falcon 9 Block 5 is scheduled to launch at 1:42 p.m. California time from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Block 5 is the most powerful (and ostensibly most recyclable) version of SpaceX's Falcon 9, the private space company's flagship rocket.

The best previous example of re-usability was the space shuttle, before SpaceX started recovering booster rockets in 2015; the company also began recovering Dragon space capsules in 2010 and re-flew one in 2017.

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That's a stark distinction from all other orbital rockets in use today, which are used once and then discarded in the ocean. No Falcon 9 has flown more than twice, though. "Block 5 is created to be capable of 10 or more flights with very limited refurbishment", the company explains, on its website.

"I think the F9 boosters could be used nearly indefinitely, so long as there is scheduled maintenance and careful inspections", Musk said on Reddit in October 2016.

SpaceX is in final preparations for the debut launch of the final variant of its powerhouse Falcon 9 rocket, the Block 5 -which will continue to further SpaceX's already realized goal of providing low-priced, affordable access to space for countries that have not been able to afford such missions before. But first it needs at least 7 successful launches before NASA will approve the rocket for human cargo. There's only a 20 percent chance that bad weather will spoil the event, so it's likely that the launch will go off without a hitch.

Impressively, Bangladesh was able to afford its satellite and launch contract with SpaceX before meeting the eligibility requirements for "Developing Country" status by the United Nations, a status it only achieved two months ago on 17 March 2018.

Although the company hasn't outlined all the changes, there will be a stronger heat shield for the trip back through the Earth's atmosphere and new retractable landing legs.

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