Science

Bangabandhu-1 satellite blasts into space

Bangabandhu-1 satellite blasts into spaceā€

The new "Block 5" Falcon 9 rocket took off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida at 4:14 p.m. EDT (20:14 GMT) and performed a ideal satellite launch that erased the memory of yesterday afternoon's boggled attempt.

An updated version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, tailored for eventual crewed missions for NASA, made its debut launch on Friday from Florida's Cape Canaveral carrying a communications satellite for Bangladesh into orbit.

After the March 2017 launch of a previous Falcon 9 rocket, Elon Musk said that, "The most important part of Block 5 will be operating the engines at their full thrust capability, which is about 7 or 8 percent nearly 10 percent more than what they now run at".

After launch, the first-stage booster of the rocket detached and guided itself back to Earth, where it landed safely on a platform, or drone ship, in the ocean so it can be flown once again on a future mission.

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It was the first landing of SpaceX's new Block 5 first stage and the 25th successful landing for SpaceX rockets.

With just under one minute left on the countdown, SpaceX's new Block 5 Falcon 9 was stalled by an auto-abort sequence.

The Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 includes improvements such as upgraded heat shields to protect the rocket's base during re-entry.

The rocket is created to require far less maintenance and refurbishment between flights, and is certified to carry humans to space later this year when SpaceX launches its Dragon crew capsule to the International Space Station.

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SpaceX holds a multibillion-dollar contract with NASA to provide such taxi services.

The vehicle, aiming to bring astronauts to the International Space Station in the future, came with many design changes to improve its reusability and reliability.

The satellite launch, done on behalf the Bangladesh government, will allow internet access to all corners of the country.

"In the continuous advancement of Bangladesh another milestone is added today", said Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a video address aired on SpaceX's launch webcast. Bangladesh is now a member of the satellite club.

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The satellite is named after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is regarded as the founding father of Bangladesh.



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