Science

Falcon 9 block 5 is on the launch pad

Falcon 9 block 5 is on the launch pad

The Falcon 9 took flight at 4:14 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 - a communications satellite for Bangladesh - on its way to orbit. And this particular rocket will be showing off its landing skills after the flight. That's more than half of the estimated overall $62 million price of the Falcon 9, according to various trade publications. By comparison, the other reused boosters that SpaceX has flown until now had a maximum of two launches each. After its return to land, it's extremely likely that SpaceX will choose to transport the rocket back to either Hawthorne or McGregor to conduct an extremely thorough teardown analysis of the booster, checking to ensure that each component and system made it through a high-energy reentry with minimal impact.

Such activities are part of the company's efforts to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets and spacecraft. This would greatly reduce overall costs of getting payloads into the air.

The Block 5's upgrades take another step in this direction. The new Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket landed in space for the first time.

The rocket is the latest and greatest version of the company's Falcon 9 platform, and it's created to be extremely easy to refurbish and reuse.

The Falcon 9 will eventually transport astronauts to the ISS under NASA's Commercial Crew Program. "This rocket is really created to be - the intent is to be the most reliable rocket ever built".

Launch photographer Tom Cross is planning to be there in person for OCISLY and B1046's arrival in Port, and will hopefully be able to document the historic recovery and the booster's (fingers crossed) resilience, as well as the first use of Octagrabber with a Block 5 Falcon 9. The BFR will fly people and cargo to Mars, but it will also launch satellites to Earth orbit, clean up space junk, carry passengers on superfast point-to-point trips around Earth and do whatever else SpaceX needs it to do, Musk has said.

"You know, it could be a thousand things that go right on this rocket, and one that goes wrong, and a passing grade for rockets - the reason that it's so hard to make an orbital rocket work - is that your passing grade is 100 percent", Musk said during yesterday's telecon.

Launching the communications satellite for the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

The launch, done on behalf the Bangladesh government, will allow internet access to all corners of the country.

SpaceX's newest rocket, the Falcon 9 Force 5, propelled the satellite into orbit. Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will provide direct-to-home services, video distribution and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) communications across Bangladesh.