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SpaceX's new Falcon 9 just landed perfectly, and it's a game-changer

SpaceX's new Falcon 9 just landed perfectly, and it's a game-changer

The Falcon 9 Block 5 carried Bangladesh's first geostationary communications satellite toward orbit on Friday.

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.

Falcon 9 Block 5 is created to handle 10 or more flights with only "very limited refurbishment", according to SpaceX, this being part of the company's "rapid reusability and extremely high reliability" goals. For these missions, the Falcon 9 must be certified as man-rated.

The launch of the upgraded Falcon 9 rocket was initially scheduled for May 10, but an automatic abort triggered in the last minute forced SpaceX to scrub its first try of sending the "Block 5" into space.

But many other small improvements to the Falcon 9 are also key to true low-priced reusability.

The first stage of the booster safely separated from the rest and it landed on a platform in the ocean. They also intend to do that with future rockets.

State-owned Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Ltd would operate the business of the Bangabandhu-1. He has said that his goal is to launch the same booster twice within 24 hours.

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It was successfully deployed at Bangladesh's specified orbit slot "within 36 minutes" of the launch and two ground stations in Bangladesh received test signals from it, said State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak at the Kennedy Space Centre in the US. Launching almost every other week - while developing a very big reusable Mars rocket and a constellation of 4,425 broadband satellites - SpaceX has become one of the most valuable private companies in the world, worth almost $28 billion.

Its engines have up to eight percent more thrust than its predecessors, the flight controls allow for a better angle of attack to conserve fuel, there is a heat shield at the base of the rocket to protect it during reentry, and the guidance vanes are now made of titanium for better heat resistance.

"With the launch of Bangabandhu-1, we are hoisting our national flag into space".

Elon Musk's company managed to launch its upgraded Falcon 9 rocket without any incidents, acing both the liftoff and the landing of the booster's first stage, Space.com reports.

The landing was the first one for the Block 5 version, but the 25th for a Falcon 9 rocket with an orbital launch.

The satellite's coverage area includes Bangladesh and other countries, including India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia, according to a Thales statement.

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


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