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Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

SpaceX Bangabandhu Satellite-1 Mission set for Thursday launch

SpaceX Bangabandhu Satellite-1 Mission set for Thursday launch

The technology incorporated in the Block 5 first stage allows the stage to be reused up to 10 times as is with just "limited refurbishment" between launches, according to SpaceX.

SpaceX plans to launch a communications satellite into space Thursday. STP-2 has a number of objectives, including demonstrating the new rocket's capabilities and launching several satellites.

SpaceX representatives have come forward with a statement that flights using the Falcon 9 rocket Block 5 and carrying human passengers could come as early as this year - bringing us one step closer to economical space travel to and from the International Space Station - and eventually even further beyond. When Block 5 proves itself today, the USA space program will be one step closer to the first crew mission in years. Poised for launch atop the Falcon 9 rocket is Bangabandhu 1, Bangladesh's first communications satellite.

The rocket will deliver the satellite to geostationary transfer orbit a half hour after launch. At T-16mins, fueling of the second stage with LOX will commence.

The first stage of the rocket will target a landing on a robotic drone ship off the Florida coast shortly after liftoff.

Once Falcon 9 is away, the first stage will burn for 2mins 31secs before all nine Merlin 1D engines shut down in preparation for stage separation at T+2mins 33secs. Block 5 will also likely be the final upgrade to Falcon 9. Once in orbit and checked out by Thales, the satellite will be operated by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

"With this historical first satellite, Bangladesh inhabitants will have access to a wide range of broadcast and communications services", Thales Alenia Space, the company that designed and built the satellite, said in a statement. It will also provide C-band capacity for the entire region and will also enable broadband connectivity to rural areas throughout the Bangladesh.

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