Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Bangladesh blasts off with their first ever satellite launch into space

Bangladesh blasts off with their first ever satellite launch into space

It is the first Bangladeshi communications satellite put into space by SpaceX. That's how the company intends to shave launch costs.

The Block 5 sports numerous upgrades created to make the rocket easier to reuse. If all goes as planned, SpaceX would fly the same rocket twice in a single day in 2019, which would be another first for the company. "We expect it to be a mainstay of SpaceX's business", Musk said, "and to complete something of the order of 300 flights before retirement".

The first stage and second stage of the rocket separated after just 2.5 minutes. By comparison, the other reused boosters that SpaceX has flown until now had a maximum of two launches each.

Bangabandhu Communications Satellite-1will provide broadcasting and telecommunication services to rural areas and introduce direct-to-home television programming across Bangladesh and neighboring countries.

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

According to NASA's current estimates, Boeing could conduct its first crewed test flight in November, and SpaceX should notch its first crewed test mission in December.

Surveillance and ensuring national security would appear as a crucial tool for Bangabandhu-1 satellite. This marks the 25th time one of SpaceX's used rockets has been recovered.

There was additional element of stress on Musk and the SpaceX team, as the payload was the $250 million Bangabandhu satellite.

The landing, which occurred less than 9 minutes after liftoff, elicited raucous cheers from SpaceX employees at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California. In addition, there have been improvements to the landing legs to make them retractable for easier recovery.

"The most important thing was addressing NASA's human rating requirements", Musk said.

SpaceX continues to work with NASA to qualify its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft for crew missions, which may happen about a year from now.

Musk says he hopes to produce 30 to 50 Block 5s for the Falcon 9. Then again, the notoriously fickle chap has also said he wants to begin retrieving the second stage of the Falcon, which would entail some major design changes in the future.

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