SpaceX launches upgraded Falcon rocket after Thursday's delay

Its recoverable main-stage booster is created to be reused at least 10 times with minimal refurbishment between flights, allowing more frequent launches at lower cost - a key to the SpaceX business model. Join Jim Siegel as he hosts SpaceFlight Insider's LIVE COVERAGE webcast leading up to the launch window, which opens at 4:14 p.m. EDT (20:14 GMT). Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will provide direct-to-home services, video distribution and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) communications across Bangladesh.

SpaceX says this version of its workhorse launcher can be flown 10 times with only minor maintenance in between flights.

After launch, SpaceX will attempt to guide the first-stage booster of the rocket back to Earth and land it safely on a platform in the ocean so it can be used again on a future mission.

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The improvements made to the Block 5 rocket over previous SpaceX rocket designs include better heat shielding for the engines, a power increase from 176,000 to 190,000lb of thrust, faster fueling times and improved landing lags.

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The Block 5 has new, black landing legs that are retractable. The Block 5 is created to be used at least 10 times with only minimal refurbishment. The company will take apart the rocket now that it has landed; the inspection will confirm that SpaceX doesn't have it take it apart after every launch. It is expected to be the first SpaceX vehicle to satisfy NASA's standards for its Commercial Crew Program to carry agency astronauts to the International Space Station. "This rocket is really created to be - the intent is to be the most reliable rocket ever built".

The private space company enthusiastically shared on social media photos of all the important moments of the "Block 5" Falcon 9 launch, including an image of the Bangabandhu-1 satellite in the geostationary transfer orbit.

The president also thanked the Post and Telecommunications Division, the BTRC, the satellite project, the officials and employees of Bangladesh Satellite Company Limited and all those involved in the construction and launch of the satellite.

State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, who is in Florida to witness the launch, said the satellite would be launched 36,000km up today with the newly-built Falcon-9 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite Bangabandhu-1 is named after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the assassinated founder of Bangladesh.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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