SpaceX to debut upgraded Falcon 9 rocket


The company hopes those upgrades mean less refurbishment, shorter turnaround times between launches and a more densely packed manifest. "It's a reliability upgrade that combines reliability and reusability". A delay to Friday would see a drop to 60 percent favorable for the same reason.

According to, the rocket will try to land on a robotic "drone ship" off the Florida coast shortly after liftoff. For comparison, older Block 4 versions flew a maximum of two missions before retirement.

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

The new first stage is covered in a thermal protective coating rather than ordinary white paint.

Even the landing legs have been redesigned to allow engineers to retract them after touchdown.

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-More thrust produced by the rocket's nine Merlin main engines. Company CEO Elon Musk has in the past likened the efforts to that of aircraft, noting that Boeing does not build a brand new 747 for every flight but instead relies on checkups and routine maintenance over decades of service.

SpaceX is all set to launch Bangabandhu-1 on 10 May from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA.

What's essentially different with the upgraded Block 5 first stages, however, is that they are deliberately created to fly 10 times with just brief inspections between landing and lift-off, and up to 100 times with some refurbishment involved.

SpaceX recently got a permit to begin constructing the first BFR spaceships in the Port of Los Angeles, about a dozen miles south of the company's headquarters.

Part of SpaceX's goal is not just the highly publicized eventual colonization of Mars but the proliferation of access to space in general - regardless of nation, geopolitics, and economic development status.

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SpaceX has twice reused a Falcon 9 booster.

Musk said he was proud of the SpaceX team who worked hard prior to the launch to make it a successful one.

Bangabandhu-1 is a communications satellite and is named after Bangladesh's founding father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

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.

Bangabandhu-1 will have a primary service area encompassing Bangladesh and the surrounding region and will offer Ku-band coverage over Bangladesh and its territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal, as well as India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

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