SpaceX's Upgraded Falcon 9 Rocket Finally Soars To The Skies

12 May, 2018, 04:23 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • TODAY: SpaceX makes second attempt to launch Block 5

Though this was the first landing for a Block 5 first stage, it was the 25th overall for a Falcon 9 during an orbital launch.

This latest version of the Falcon 9 blasted off Friday from Florida's Kennedy Space Center 4:14 pm - a day later than originally planned. It's the last and most powerful version of the Falcon 9 that SpaceX plans to make, as the company switches its focus to developing a new giant rocket and spaceship combo, the BFR. It carried up the first satellite belonging to Bangladesh.

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.

The French-made communications satellite, which cost USA $250 million, took off at 4:14 p.m. Scheduled to launch Thursday, the launch got unexpectedly scrubbed within a minute of its expected launch. It marks the first flight of the Block 5 batch of Falcon 9 rockets, which incorporate a number of upgrades to improve performance, increase the service life of the booster and reduce turnaround time between recovery and relaunch. SpaceX made an update in the twitter saying that standard ground system auto-abort at T-1 led to the failure of the proposed launch.

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The landing, which occurred less than 9 minutes after liftoff, elicited raucous cheers from SpaceX employees at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California. As such, Block 5 rockets have been created to conform to NASA's crew-carrying requirements.

The Falcon 9 will eventually transport astronauts to the ISS under NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

"That would be exciting", Musk said in reference to driving down the cost of launching to space during a press call Thursday. Central Time with the deployment of the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 into geostationary orbit. But in the eight-year history of flying Falcon 9 rockets, SpaceX has only ever sent the same rocket to space twice.

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