SpaceX Falcon Launch A Success

SpaceX added another success to its roster with a textbook Friday afternoon launch for its upgraded Falcon 9 rocket.

The rocket carried its payload, a Bangladesh communications satellite, into orbit after nailing the opening of its launch window at 4:14 PM Eastern Time.

A Thursday launch attempt was halted by the Falcon 9's onboard computers with 58 seconds left to go on the clock.

Engineers sorted out the trouble swiftly, finding it to be related to a ground-side system.

But the solution to the issue was not found in time to get off the pad Thursday.

The Friday launch, however, was a milestone for SpaceX; marking the first use of the Block 5 Falcon 9 booster.

The Block 5 is considered the final incarnation of the Falcon 9, and is intended by SpaceX to be the workhorse of its expendable fleet.

According to SpaceX engineers, the Block 5 is designed to fly 10 times with little to no refurbishments, with a single booster flying up to 100 times over the course of its service life.

The rocket is also designed to boost heavier payloads more efficiently, and serve as a side booster to the Falcon Heavy rocket.

Engineers say that the goal of the Block 5 booster is a 24-hour turnaround from one launch to the next.

The short turnaround, coupled with the extreme reusability of the Falcon 9, are expected to drastically cut the price of getting payloads into space.

One engineer noted that the company doubted they would be launching rockets every day, but said "it'll be nice to know that we can if we ever want to."

The booster returned to Earth shortly after the launch, touching down on the deck of the droneship "Of Course I Still Love You" just off the Florida coast.

The booster will be brought back to the Cape and inspected. Engineers are expressing hope that it will pass inspection with little, or no, need for refurbishment.

Once the booster is certified as ready, it likely will be assigned to a new flight.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content