How and when to watch the Bangabandhu launch

SpaceX Set to Debut Newest Falcon 9 Rocket'Block 5

The highly anticipated launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket hit a snag and gets aborted at the last minute on Thursday, May 10.

On board for Thursday's mission: Bangabandhu-1, Bangladesh's first-ever geostationary communications satellite.

It is part of SpaceX's goal of rapid reusability and high reliability for its rockets.

SpaceX's YouTube live broadcast, embedded below, should begin about 20 minutes before launch.

What is Bangabandhu Satellite-1?

Prior to obtaining "Developing Country" status, Bangladesh was considered a "Least Developed Country" by the United Nations based on its economic ability.

SpaceX also launched its first Falcon Heavy rocket earlier this year, with the test flight laying the foundations for ambitious future missions. Right now, the GAO estimates that human certification for the Block 5 Falcon 9 won't occur until late 2019.

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

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

With greater refurbishment, a Block 5 could be launched up to 100 times. If for some reason the launch has to be scrubbed, the backup window opens on Friday, May 11 at 4:14pm EDT.

SpaceX is taking extra precautions with this flight. At T-38mins, the SpaceX Launch Director will verify that all is ready for the start of propellant loading.

"Departing for Florida to witness historic Bangabandhu Satellite-1 launching", Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for the country's Information and Communication Technology Division, said via Twitter on Monday.

Most of the changes to this final form of the Falcon 9 are created to emphasize reusability.

The second stage will reach its initial Earth orbit 8mins 19secs after launch, with the MVac engine shutting down for a 19min 19sec coast. Thales Alenia Space, a French company, designed and built the satellite, which already underwent several test runs. No human has been launched into space from USA soil since the last shuttle mission in 2011. The launch Thursday will boost Bangladesh's first communications satellite into orbit.

Once operational, the satellite will help provide improved internet connection to remote areas.



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