SpaceX launch for first Falcon 9 Block 5 set for Thursday evening

SpaceX launch for first Falcon 9 Block 5 set for Thursday evening

SpaceX on Thursday scrubbed the launch of the latest version of its Falcon 9 rocket, the Block 5, and rescheduled the event for Friday.

For its debut flight, the first completely Block 5 Falcon 9 (both the first and second stages are Bock 5 iterations) will be tasked with taking the Bangabandhu-1 satellite into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).

The first "Block 5" Falcon 9 is set to launch from pad 39A at 4:12 p.m., which is the opening of a two-hour 10-minute window. Liftoff is now targeted for 16:12 EDT (20:12 UTC) on Thursday, 10 May, the opening of a 2hr 10min launch window that closes at 18:22 EDT (22:22 UTC). The rocket is created to launch twice in a 24-hour period. There's only a 20 percent chance that bad weather will spoil the event, so it's likely that the launch will go off without a hitch.

The first stage of the rocket will target a landing on a robotic drone ship off the Florida coast shortly after liftoff. The Block 5 is also outfitted with improved navigation fins - which help guide the rocket's first stage back to Earth after delivering a satellite into orbit - made from fire-resistant titanium. Falcon 1 rockets launched from Omelek Island, part of the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

Elon Musk's rocket company is about to move one step closer to launching astronauts into space.

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This is a busy time for SpaceX, which recently launched its 14 resupply mission to the International Space Station, sent 10 next-generation satellites into orbit for Iridium Communications and launched NASA's TESS exoplanet hunter.

"Falcon 9 threw the abort and they're part of the standard process", materials engineer Michael Hammersley said during a live webcast.

"We try to summarize all these lessons learned into a booster that then is able to fly, be recovered and fly again multiple times without a lot of refurbishment", said Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX vice president of Build and Flight Reliability.

Musk said he'd like to see a single Block 5 rocket fly three or four times by the end of 2018.

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