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SpaceX launches satellite atop first Block 5 Falcon 9 Rocket on second attempt

update: The Block 5 Falcon 9 successfully launched and deployed the satellite on Friday afternoon. Both the Thursday aborted attempt and the Friday success videos are below.

SpaceX was set to launch a satellite Thursday on the first flight of a block 5 Falcon 9 vehicle. Block 5 is the first iteration of the booster that is intended to be used in 10 launches with only minor refurbishing between uses. The previous versions of the first stage booster have flown twice at most.

SpaceX is targeting launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on Thursday, May 10 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Liftoff is targeted for 5:47 p.m. EDT, or 21:47 UTC. Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will be deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) approximately 33 minutes after launch. A backup launch window opens on Friday, May 11 at 4:14 p.m. EDT, or 20:14 UTC, and closes at 6:21 p.m. EDT, or 22:21 UTC.

With just 58 seconds remaining in the countdown on Thursday, Falcon 9 threw an abort just as the vehicle took over the countdown. Engineers worked to determine the cause of the abort, but in the end, decided to scrub the launch until Friday.

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On Friday, the launch, satellite deployment and first stage recovery were all successful.

Thursday aborted attempt

The block 5 first stage has parts that have been redesigned to lessen the amount of refurbishing work needed to ready the booster for another launch and also increase safety to a level that will allow SpaceX to eventually take NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.

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Friday’s successful launch

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About Duncan Idaho

Duncan is a science and technology editor for CDN. Any opinions expressed in his articles are his own and not necessarily shared by CDN, its staff, officers, or their pets.
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