Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Enhanced SpaceX Falcon9 Rocket Launches Thursday; Designed Multiple Flights

Enhanced SpaceX Falcon9 Rocket Launches Thursday; Designed Multiple Flights SpaceX success for rocket, and Bangladesh
Jean Garcia | 15 May, 2018, 00:24

"Standing down today due to a standard ground system auto abort at T-1 min. Rocket and payload are in good health-teams are working towards tomorrow's backup launch opportunity at 4:14 p.m. EDT, or 20:14 UTC".

The rocket is the first "block 5" version of the booster, incorporating numerous design changes to improve performance and safety while allowing the company to refly first stages 10 times or more.

Starting with version Block 5 design, the Falcon 9 will be frozen, and SpaceX will focus on the completion of the development of manned spacecraft Dragon 2 and the creation of super-heavy launch BFR.

"The key to Block 5 is that it's created to do ten or more flights with no refurbishment between each flight-or at least not scheduled refurbishment between each flight", said Musk during a media conference call before the launch.

SpaceX reduced prices for launches from "about $60 million to about $50 million for a reflown booster", he said.

Located at 119.1° East, Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will provide direct-to-home (DTH) services, video distribution and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) communications across Bangladesh. Up to 2019 SpaceX plans with the same first step run Block 5 two times within one day.

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As has become common for SpaceX, the Falcon 9's first stage will attempt to fly itself back to a landing on an offshore droneship after boosting Bangabandhu 1 out of the thick lower atmosphere. Some upgrades the Block 5 brings are redesigned landing legs, a tougher octoweb engine layout, and strengthened COPV (helium tanks).

According to Elon Musk, the Block 5 rockets will be able to fly up to 10 times with zero maintenance, and up to 100 times in total.

Hans Koenigsmann, a senior SpaceX manager said in a press statement,"Block 5 basically summarizes all that we learned on reusability". It will be dissected before flying again in a few months.

The BFR, key to Musk's vision of sending humans to Mars, has been much-discussed in the space community.

Be on the lookout for Falcon 9 "Block 5 " s first launch tomorrow afternoon.

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