SpaceX To Launch First "Block 5" Falcon 9 Rocket Thursday

SpaceX To Launch First

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.

Altogether, the Falcon Heavy will launch with 25 spacecraft inside its nose cone, including six weather research satellites and the Air Force Research Laboratory's Demonstration and Science Experiments spacecraft.

Falcon 9 and its three-core sibling, Falcon Heavy, will fill the gap and help fund research and development until BFR's debut. The block 5 upgrades are created to meet the stringent safety requirements for such missions.

Bangabandhu Satellite-1 is scheduled to blast off from launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

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The rocket will deliver the satellite to geostationary transfer orbit a half hour after launch. Boeing also holds a NASA crew contract and will continue to fly agency astronauts to and from the International Space Station using a capsule named the CST-100 Starliner and United Launch Alliance Atlas V rockets. RP-1 (rocket-grade kerosene) will begin flowing into the Falcon 9 first and second stages at T-35mins.

-More thrust produced by the rocket's nine Merlin main engines.

According to, the rocket will try to land on a robotic "drone ship" off the Florida coast shortly after liftoff.

Bangabandhu-1 will separate from the top of the Falcon 9 at 33mins 38secs after launch. Once in orbit and checked out by Thales, the satellite will be operated by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. It was designed and built by Thales Alenia Space with a lifetime service design of at least 15 years. Bangladesh's launch is likely to start a price war in the region. It will also provide C-band capacity for the entire region and will also enable broadband connectivity to rural areas throughout the Bangladesh.