How and when to watch the Bangabandhu launch

Ignacio Smith
May 11, 2018

For SpaceX to become cost-effective, as it has aimed to do since the company was first founded, it has to make as many components on its rockets as reusable as possible. In 2014, both SpaceX and British aerospace company Boeing were awarded a shared $6.8 billion contract by NASA to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.

Bangabandhu-1, as the satellite is called, is expected to bring state-of-the-art phone, radio, TV, and internet service to the nation of more than 160 million people, as well as surrounding countries like Nepal, Myanmar, and Bhutan.

Many of these tweaks are also focused on turnaround time for these rockets.

- Crews are getting ready to launch the ' "Falcon 9 Block 5" rocket from Cape Canaveral on Thursday afternoon.

SpaceX is targeting launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on Thursday, May 10 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

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Engineers have steadily improved the rocket over time, making it taller, shaving unnecessary weight, and giving the engines more power.

That's a stark distinction from all other orbital rockets in use today, which are used once and then discarded in the ocean.

The new Block 5 rocket is created to be sturdier, so that it can be flown up to 10 times with minimal mechanical refurbishment - a big leap forward in efficiency and cost reduction.

'We are building the first Mars, or interplanetary ship, and I think well be able to do short trips, short up and down flights, by first half of next year, ' Musk said at the South by Southwest technology and culture festival in Austin, Texas, last month. It features a number of incremental improvements over its predecessor, the Block 4, that are created to make the rocket more reusable, as well as providing increased engine thrust and enhanced landing control.

The launch was halted after a last-minute automatic abort, Spaceflight Now reported.

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The first step toward that goal begins today.

But due to ongoing qualification testing and engineering reviews, the first Falcon Heavy launch for the Air Force slipped from June to October.

Current weather reports suggest the mission has an 80% chance of lifting off, and SpaceX has a window of about two hours to launch the mission.

Launch window to start at 4:12 p.m.

The Block 5 has a slew of upgrades, such as improvements to the rocket's heat shield, additional thermal protection coating to prevent heat damage upon re-entry into the earth's atmosphere and retractable landing legs.

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