SpaceX aborts first 'Block 5' Falcon 9 launch

SpaceX aborts first 'Block 5' Falcon 9 launch

The launch window is scheduled to open at 4:12pm EDT and will remain open for just over two hours before closing at 6:22pm EDT. This satellite aims to provide broadcast and communications services to citizens in Bangladesh. But the primary goal of the mission is to get Bangabandhu-1 into orbit.

When the first Falcon 9 Block 5 takes flight from pad 39A at 4:12 p.m., it will take with it enhancements gleaned from two years of launching, landing and re-launching rockets.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says NASA is keeping a close eye on the launch and the agency asked the company to over-engineer the rocket to make it safe for humans. Block 5 is the first iteration of the booster that is meant to be used in 10 launches with only minor refurbishing between uses.

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell told Space News in November that upgrades in the Block 5 version of Falcon9 were driven largely by requests from NASA and the US military, which will rely on the rocket to transport astronauts to the International Space Station and launch national security satellites, respectively.

Air Force weather forecasters expect 80 percent "go" conditions for the launch of Bangladesh's Bangabandhu-1 communications satellite, citing the presence of thick clouds as the only concern.

Stationed a couple hundred miles off Florida's east coast in the Atlantic Ocean, the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship will play host to the booster's landing attempt shortly after liftoff, bringing back the hardware that could fly more 10 times or more with light refurbishment.

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"It is the final substantial upgrade to the Falcon 9 design, although we may make minor upgrades as we continue to strive for rapid reusability and extremely high reliability". "Please keep us in your prayers so that we can safely launch our first satellite of Bangladesh".

The rocket's onboard computers halted the countdown about one minute before the Block-5 edition of the Falcon 9 was set to blast off. The new tanks are created to eliminate that failure mode and are required for NASA's commercial crew program. Thus, the first step is stored for reuse.

The takeoff will be neat - the landing will be even neater than neat.

Musk said the previous version of the Falcon 9 could be refurbished in about 10 days if necessary, but that preparing it for upward of 10 uses would have required a "fair amount of work between each flight". After failing to determine the reason for the abort, SpaceX delayed the launch by 24 hours.

F9 B1046 offers a glimpse of its Block 5 Merlins, octaweb, and heat shielding.