SpaceX to launch 'Falcon 9 Block 5' on Thursday

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The launch will take place today at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and will carry Bangladesh's first satellite, Bangabandhu-1, into Geostationary Transfer Orbit.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has announced that the country's first satellite, Bangabandhu-1, will be launched on 10 May from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA by SpaceX.

SpaceX is scheduled to debut its latest and most advanced version of the Falcon 9 rocket Thursday.

The launch window opens at 4:12 and runs until 6:22 p.m. Forecasters are predicting an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather.

SpaceX has also enabled Taiwan to launch its first indigenously built satellite, Formosat-5, into orbit last year and also permitted the Luxembourg government to launch its first military satellite, GovSat-1, earlier this year as part of the country's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation obligations - with the low price point of the Falcon 9 stated as a direct reason for the mission's economic affordability. As such, Block 5 rockets have been created to conform to NASA's crew-carrying requirements. SpaceX will live-stream the launch here 20 minutes before liftoff, at around 3:50 pm today.

SpaceX is preparing to launch the first-ever high-orbit communications satellite for Bangladesh on Thursday afternoon.

This goal can only be achieved if the new Falcon 9 version can really be reuse faster and easier. The satellite is expected to bring Ku-band coverage to Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal in addition to surrounding countries. The spacecraft will provide a variety of broadcast and communications services to residents of the densely populated South Asian nation.

Other changes include improved heat shield insulation at the base of the rocket, a tougher "octaweb" first stage engine mounting framework, redesigned turbopump machinery to minimize or eliminate small cracks in critical components and improved insulation in other areas of the rocket. STP-2 has a number of objectives, including demonstrating the new rocket's capabilities and launching several satellites.

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