SpaceX's Block 5 lands safely, delivers Bangabandhu 1 into orbit

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After a day's delay, Bangladesh's first satellite was today successfully launched atop the first SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket.

An updated version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the company's ninth launch so far this year, has been tailored for eventual crewed missions for NASA.

It is created to be capable of 10 or more flights with very limited refurbishment as SpaceX continues to strive for rapid reusability and extremely high reliability, according to SpaceX's news release.

After liftoff, the rocket made a successful upright landing on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, marking the 25th successful touchdown for SpaceX. But even without the Block 5, SpaceX is already slated to have an extremely productive year, with 30 launches on deck for 2018. It also has less weight and a more easily produced structure.

The successful launch of the Block-5 takes the company one step closer to satisfying NASA regulations for carrying astronauts to the International Space Station. The launch was scheduled on Thursday, but last minute abort alert compelled the scientists to cancel its launch plans. By comparison, the other reused boosters that SpaceX has flown until now had a maximum of two launches each. His goal is to eventually launch the same booster twice within 24 hours, drastically reducing costs.

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SpaceX has signed a Dollars 2.6 billion contract with the NASA to complete development of Crew Dragon, a capsule to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

Block 5 simply concretes SpaceX's business case.

In a televised message on Saturday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: "The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will be a great addition to our information technology, heralding our entry into the satellite club of the world. It is an important step forward in the country's digital advancement", the embassy said in a statement on Sunday.

It is expected to have a 15-year lifespan and will help save money for the Dhaka government, which now spends $14 million annually to rent from the services of foreign satellites, government officials said.

Located at 119.1° East, Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will provide direct-to-home (DTH) services, video distribution and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) communications across Bangladesh.

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