SpaceX postpones next-gen rocket launch

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket. BRUCE WEAVER AFP — Getty Images

- The planned Thursday launch of a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral was scrubbed with one minute before lift-off. The second attempt at launch is scheduled to take place at 4:4 pm EDT or 20:14 UTC, it said.

Bangabandhu Satellite-1 was created to be the very first Bangladeshi geostationary communications satellite. The 8,000-pound spacecraft is expected to spend up to 15 years in orbit serving countries ranging from Turkmenistan to the west and the Philippines to the east, giving the Bangladesh Communications Satellite Company a digital foothold in the region.

The launch of the satellite Bangabandhu-1 for the government of Bangladesh will be the first carried out by the Falcon 9 rocket Block 5, the final modification of the rocket reusable. The Block 5 is the most powerful (and ostensibly most recyclable) version of SpaceX's Falcon 9, the private space company's flagship rocket.

Block-5 marks the final version of the Falcon 9 line-up before SpaceX introduces its super heavy-lift launch vehicle, dubbed the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, which will be created to send manned missions to Mars. Musk said Thursday that a launch on a reused Falcon 9 rocket is now about $50 million. The satellite will eventually travel to a path 22,000 miles above Earth, where it will provide telecommunications coverage for Bangladesh and surrounding areas.

One of the most significant changes is the use of stronger high-pressure helium tanks, known as composite overwrapped pressure vessels, or COPVs, that are submerged in the rocket's liquid oxygen propellant tanks.

Consequently, reusability is already saving customers large sums of money and ensuring that Falcon 9 remains the absolute cheapest vehicle for the performance, a trend Musk indicated would continue for the indefinite future as SpaceX decreases costs, expands and improves reusability, and recoups a satisfactory proportion of their investments. The new tanks are created to eliminate that failure mode and are required for NASA's commercial crew program.

The takeoff will be neat - the landing will be even neater than neat. The legs had to be removed in previous versions of the rocket before a recovered booster could be hauled away for post-flight processing.

SpaceX has not yet announced what exactly triggered the automatic abort.

F9 B1046 offers a glimpse of its Block 5 Merlins, octaweb, and heat shielding.

David Price (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) Could Make Next Start
Solai School Dormitory Flooded With Mud From Patel Dam Failure