Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

SpaceX Launches and Lands Its Most Reusable Rocket Yet

Sandra Phillips | 11 May, 2018, 23:43

Los Angeles-based SpaceX on Friday launched and landed its most recoverable rocket yet - one that is expected to carry USA astronauts to the International Space Station beginning later this year.

SpaceX launched an upgraded version of its Falcon 9 rocket from the Space Coast Friday. The backup launch window opens today at 4:14 pm EDT and just as on Thursday, that window will remain open for roughly two hours. That's how the company intends to shave launch costs.

This type of Falcon 9 will also likely be the version of the rocket that one day flies humans to orbit for NASA under a contract with SpaceX.

The mission will see the first communications satellite for the country of Bangladesh placed into orbit.

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The first stage later successfully landed on an autonomous barge in the Atlantic ocean. This marks the 25th Falcon 9 landing for SpaceX.

Falcon 9 Block 5 is created to be capable of 10 or more flights with very limited refurbishment as SpaceX continues to strive for rapid reusability and extremely high reliability. The live stream will begin shortly before the launch window opens and, as always, SpaceX will be providing commentary on the launch, mission, and spacecraft as the event unfolds.

Musk said after the inaugural launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket in February that SpaceX will soon focus all of its engineering talent on building its Mars rocket, called BFR.

SpaceX has no plans to use its Falcon Heavy, which is now the most powerful rocket in operation, to fly humans.

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