SpaceX makes second attempt to launch Block 5

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SpaceX's updated version of Falcon 9 rocket "Block 5" lifted off in Florida on Friday, boosting Bangladesh's first communications satellite into orbit.

The Falcon 9 and the satellite were faring well, SpaceX reported. With less than a minute remaining before a scheduled launch, the countdown came to an abrupt stop because of a technical problem that caused an automatic abort. The company says the Block 5 variant "is created to be capable of 10 or more flights with very limited refurbishment", which will help cut down time between successive launches, which is something the company has been counting on for some time.

SpaceX boss Elon Musk said Block 5 will be the last major upgrade to the Falcon series, and any changes in future will be incidental and minor.

SpaceX so far has safely return-landed 24 of its boosters and reflown 11 of them.

"Block 5 is capable of at least 100 flights before being retired", Musk told reporters on a prelaunch conference call. The rocket is created to launch twice in a 24-hour period.

"It would also speed up many aspects of our daily life". And this boost was achieved without an increase in mass, Musk added.

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SpaceX is one of two private companies hired by NASA to ferry astronaut crews to the space station.

SpaceX holds a multibillion-dollar contract with NASA to provide such taxi services. NASA requires seven successful flights before the new rocket receives final certification for a manned mission.

"This rocket is really designed...to be the most reliable rocket ever built", Musk said Thursday.

Share this article: The first Falcon 9 Block 5 blasts off from Cape Canaveral. SpaceX plans to eventually phase out the vehicle - along with Dragon and the just-debuted Falcon Heavy rocket - in favor of the huge rocket-spaceship combo known as the BFR, which is now in development. 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.

Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will be deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) approximately 33 minutes after launch.

BTRC purchased a turnkey contract for Bangabandhu-1 from European satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space in 2015 for $248 million that included the construction of ground infrastructure for satellite operations and the provisioning of a launch vehicle. "I would like to greet and congratulate the people of the country on this glorious occasion", she said in a message on Saturday marking the launching of the country's first satellite. The satellite Bangabandhu-1 is named after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the assassinated founder of Bangladesh.

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