The Falcon 9 Block 5 is scheduled to launch at 1:12 p.m. California time from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Block 5 is meant to reach 10 or more re-flights without scheduled maintenance - in essence, by simply moving the rocket from its landing spot, refueling it and then putting it back out on the launch pad. The geostationary satellite, named Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman after the country's founding father, weighs over 3500 kilograms and will carry 40 Ku and C-band transponders which will help in direct-to-home transmission and provide V-sat services to Bangladesh and its neighbouring countries. If they miss the window, they have a backup launch planned for Friday, May 11, between 4:14 p.m. ET and 6:21 p.m. ET. Weather conditions are forecast to be 80 percent go.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft on board, launches from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 3, 2017. Once in orbit and checked out by Thales, the satellite will be operated by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. During a conference call Thursday before the flight, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he expects to see "Same day re-flight of the same rocket", as early as next year. Nowadays, NASA sends astronauts to the International Space Station using Russia's Roscosmos space program.
Bangabandhu-1 will separate from the top of the Falcon 9 at 33mins 38secs after launch.
The authorities concerned, including Bangladesh delegation and SpaceX, held a review meeting in NY over the launching preparation on Wednesday morning (local time).
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Other changes include improved heat shield insulation at the base of the rocket, a tougher "octaweb" first stage engine mounting framework, redesigned turbopump machinery to minimize or eliminate small cracks in critical components and improved insulation in other areas of the rocket.
-Retractable black landing legs, compared to the Block 4's white ones.
With any luck, the rocket can be reused up to 100 times.
The new rocket is SpaceX's latest innovation to increase the reusability of its launching system.