SpaceX calls off launch of its new rocket at the last minute

SpaceX Set to Debut Newest Falcon 9 Rocket'Block 5

SpaceX Set to Debut Newest Falcon 9 Rocket'Block 5

The Block 5 will take off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, with the two-hour launch window opening at 4:12p.m. (ET). Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will be deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) approximately 33 minutes after launch.

It's created to reduce the country's digital divide in both big cities and rural areas by providing internet, television and other communication services.

If SpaceX is unable to launch the satellite on Thursday, a backup window is scheduled for Friday. The Block 5, however, is created to fly up to 100 times, although this will involve some refurbishment and inspections after every 10 flights.

It has stronger landing legs, better landing control and is completely reusable. After evolving Falcon-9 over a decade, together with updates involving every launch, SpaceX expects this will soon be the final version of the work horse rocket that completed more launches in 20 17 than every other commercial motor vehicle.

Enhanced rocket reusability also is a core tenet of Musk's broader objectives for normalizing space travel and ultimately sending humans to Mars.

Maiden launch of Block 5 rocket.

Yet SpaceX engineers have constantly tinkered with the rocket over the past decade, adding new features, increasing efficiency, and boosting power.

Liftoff is set for 4:12 p.m. ET from launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This goal can only be achieved if the new Falcon 9 version can really be reuse faster and easier. But now, there will be little, if any, tweaking to the rocket during active missions. But with the nature of often skewed and overambitious company launch timelines, a mid-2019 launch for crew missions is a more reasonable estimate.

And the savings could be applied to SpaceX's development of the BFR, or "Big F***ing Rocket", according to the Verge.

SpaceX hasn't released official specifications for its Block 5 rockets yet, but it has shared some information about improvements to this generation's reusability and reliability.

SpaceX now advertises Falcon 9 launches as starting at $62 million. The Elon Musk-led company is committed to a strategy of returning its boosters to Earth in an attempt to reduce the costs of spaceflight. Nowadays, NASA sends astronauts to the International Space Station using Russia's Roscosmos space program.

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