Bangladesh's first satellite launched into orbit

Falcon 9 Block 5 is created to handle 10 or more flights with only "very limited refurbishment", according to SpaceX, this being part of the company's "rapid reusability and extremely high reliability" goals.

Called Bangabandhu-1, the satellite is riding into space on top of SpaceX's Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket.

The Falcon 9 Block 5 launched the Bangladesh Communications Satellite Co.'s first orbital satellite, dubbed Bangabandhu-1, into orbit.

Liftoff occurred around 4:14 pm ET out of Kennedy Space Center in Florida - a day later than originally planned.

Minutes later, the rocket's main-stage booster flew itself back to Earth to achieve a safe return landing on an unmanned platform vessel floating in the Pacific Ocean.

The Falcon 9 Block-5 comes equipped with about 100 upgrades for greater power, safety and reusability than its Block-4 predecessor.

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So far, the first-stage boosters have been recycled once, for a total of two flights apiece.

Besides missions to the space station, the new rocket will be used to launch U.S. Air Force global positioning satellites and other high-value, military and national security payloads.

The rocket is created to require far less maintenance and refurbishment between flights, and is certified to carry humans to space later this year when SpaceX launches its Dragon crew capsule to the International Space Station.

Enhanced rocket reusability also is a core tenet of SpaceX owner and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's broader objectives of making space travel commonplace and ultimately sending humans to Mars. While the base price for a launch that uses a brand-new Falcon 9 is $60 million, the equivalent price for a previously flown Falcon 9 is $50 million, he said.

"Standing down today due to a standard ground system auto-abort at T-1 min", the company tweeted shortly after the launch was scrubbed". The constellation's first prototype satellites were sent into orbit in February, and within the next few years, Starlink is expected to become a major contributor to SpaceX's bottom line. The satellite will also provide broadband connectivity to rural areas throughout the country.

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