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SpaceX successfully launches satellite with new upgraded 'Block 5' Falcon 9 rocket
13 May 2018, 01:12 | Justin Tyler
The Falcon 9 rocket
SpaceX had previously planned to launch the satellite using Falcon-9 rockets on December 16, 2017, but the launch was postponed due to damage from Hurricane Irma.
The recoverable Block-5 booster is created to be reused at least 10 times with minimal refurbishment between flights, allowing more frequent launches at lower cost - a key to the SpaceX business model. NASA takes seven successful flights until the brand new enemy receives last certification for a manned mission.
About a half hour after launch, live images showed the satellite drifting into the inky blackness of space, as cheers and screams erupted at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. With less than a minute remaining before a scheduled launch, the countdown came to an abrupt stop because of a technical problem that caused an automatic abort.
This latest and final version of the company's Falcon 9 rocket - capable of more than 10 reflights, possibly even 100 - made its debut Friday.
Minutes after it blasted off, the rocket's main-stage booster flew back to Earth safely, landing on on an unmanned platform vessel floating in the Pacific Ocean.
"From now on, we become a proud member of the satellite club", a beaming Hasina said in a pre-recorded address that was broadcast on national television and social media minutes after the successful launch. That only leaves one massive project left for SpaceX - BFR. These upgrades provide the rocket with about 8 percent and 5 percent more thrust, respectively, compared to the "Block 4".
"This is a historic occasion, which is a matter of great pride for the people of Bangladesh within the country and beyond", said Mohammad Ziauddin, Bangladesh's ambassador to the United States, in a statement on Thursday.
The satellite will offer Ku-band coverage over Bangladesh and its territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The company will take apart the rocket now that it has landed; the inspection will confirm that SpaceX doesn't have it take it apart after every launch.
She expressed her thanks to the satellite building and launching company, the US and the French governments and their peoples for their support.
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