SpaceX debuts Falcon 9 rocket

Doug Carpenter
May 12, 2018

"The historic event took place at 2:14am Bangladesh time today when the country's first geostationary communication satellite started its voyage towards orbit from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, the U.S.", reported The Daily Star.

The rocket's first and second stages separated about 2.5 minutes into the flight. The communication satellite is named Bangabandhu-1 after the country's founding father. The space company tried to figure out what was wrong and fix it before the launch window closed at 6:22 p.m. ET, but to no avail.

But the countdown came to an abrupt halt with less than a minute remaining.

Shortly before the second stage separation, the first stage executed a controlled landing back on SpaceX's drone ship in the Atlantic, the company's 25th recovered first stage. For these missions, the Falcon 9 must be certified as man-rated. SpaceX CEO and Founder Elon Musk spoke to his anxieties about the launch.

The Block 5's upgrades take another step in this direction. "There are thousands and thousands and thousands of requirements", Musk said of the rocket.

SpaceX has successfully landed its Falcon 9 Block 5, the rocket that will used to transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

The Block 5 sports numerous upgrades created to make the rocket easier to reuse.

That last part - the refurbishment - is going to be key, because the rocket is the first of SpaceX's Block 5 models to fly. These upgrades provide the rocket with about 8 percent and 5 percent more thrust, respectively, compared to the "Block 4". "This rocket is really created to be - the intent is to be the most reliable rocket ever built".

Musk says he hopes to produce 30 to 50 Block 5s for the Falcon 9.

Manufactured by the Thales Alenia Space of France, Bangladesh will operate satellite from 119.1 degree East using a payload comprising 26 Ku-Band and 14 C-Band transponders to deliver focused telecommunications coverage to Bangladesh.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina greeted the countrymen for successful launching of Bangladesh's first communication satellite into space, saying that it added a new milestone to the path of continued advancement of the country.

In a televised message on Saturday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: "The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will be a great addition to our information technology, heralding our entry into the satellite club of the world". The satellite is expected to expand communication capabilities across Bangladesh and in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Rahman was assassinated in 1975 at the age of 55.

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