SpaceX to Attempt First Launch of Upgraded Falcon 9 Rocket

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket

Poised for launch atop the Falcon 9 rocket is Bangabandhu 1, Bangladesh's first communications satellite.

SpaceX has gotten better and better and shortening the turnaround time between flights of its used (sorry, "flight proven") rockets. SpaceX CEO and Grimes' new soulmate Elon Musk says the Block 5 will carry NASA astronauts to space as soon as December, 2018, with a few test flights before then. A delay to Friday would see a drop to 60 percent favorable for the same reason. And the two-stage rocket's first stage will attempt to land on a robotic "drone ship" off the Florida coast shortly after liftoff.

"It is the final substantial upgrade to the Falcon 9 design, although we may make minor upgrades as we continue to strive for rapid reusability and extremely high reliability".

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

Once Falcon 9 is away, the first stage will burn for 2mins 31secs before all nine Merlin 1D engines shut down in preparation for stage separation at T+2mins 33secs.

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It will be just another routine launch, but should serve as a proving ground for the Block 5, which Musk has referred to as the "finished version" of its reusable Falcon 9 rockets. SpaceX has re-launched 11 first stage boosters to date, but none have flown more than twice.

The new rocket is "designed to be capable of 10 or more flights with very limited refurbishment", SpaceX said ahead of the launch window, which opens at 4:12 p.m. ET and closes at 6:22 p.m. ET.

And the savings could be applied to SpaceX's development of the BFR, or "Big F***ing Rocket", according to the Verge. Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will be deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) approximately 33 minutes after launch. Once in place, the satellite will provide telecom services for Bangladesh and the surrounding region.

This is the third satellite that SpaceX will have aided in launching. Download the 10News app now.

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