SpaceX Launches Block 5 Falcon 9 to Debut Bangladesh's Bangabandhu Satellite

12 May, 2018, 23:09 | Author: Kristi Owen
  • Bangabandhu Satellite-1 Mission

With sending the Bangabandhu-I to the orbit, Bangladesh has become the 57th country to launch a geostationary communication satellite.

This was supposed to be the first flight of the Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, but fortunately, SpaceX might not make us wait too long for the inaugural launch to happen.

The newly minted Block 5 variant of the Falcon 9 - designed with roughly 100 up grades for greater energy, security and reusability than its Block-4 predecessor - increased off at 4:14 p.m. EDT (2014 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center.

In addition, the upgraded Falcon 9 is more powerful than the previous versions, thanks to the nine Merlin engines in the rocket's first stage and the single "vacuum Merlin" in the second stage.

For these missions, the Falcon 9 must be certified as man-rated. NASA requires seven successful flights before the new rocket receives final certification for a manned mission.

However, statements from SpaceX mentioned that the problem was with ground support systems, not the rocket itself. The new version of the rocket is outfitted with upgrades created to make it more durable so it can be reused as many as 10 times, dramatically cutting the costs of space missions.


The upgraded rocket model ensures enhanced reusability and carried a Bangabandhu Satellite-1 into geostationary orbit.

SpaceX's Block 5 rocket blasted-off successfully on Friday afternoon. Officials in that area expect Bangladesh's first satellite to improve telephone, data, television, Internet, and emergency communications throughout Bangladesh and beyond - going as far as Indonesia and the Philippines.

While the satellite started its journey to the space, people of all ages across the country were awake and many of them started singing with joy and pride the national anthem - "Amaar Sonar Bangla, Ami Tomay Valobashi".

Stage-1 of the 2-staged Falcon 9 rocket returned to earth about eight minutes and 45 seconds after take-off. His goal is to eventually launch the same booster twice within 24 hours, drastically reducing costs. "There are thousands and thousands and thousands of requirements", Musk said of the rocket.

The launch made Bangladesh the 57th nation in the world and fourth in South Asia after India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to own a satellite.

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