SpaceX launches new rocket primed for future crewed missions

SpaceX has successfully landed its Falcon 9 Block 5, the rocket that will used to transport astronauts to the International Space Station. His goal is to eventually launch the same booster twice within 24 hours, drastically reducing costs.

Enhanced rocket reusability also is a core tenet of SpaceX owner and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's broader objectives: making space travel commonplace and ultimately sending humans to Mars.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on May 11, 2018 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Launching the communications satellite for the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

At present, liftoff is scheduled to commence at 16:12 EDT (13.12 PT). Previous ones included Turkmenistan's TurkmenAlem satellite in April 2015 and Bulgaria's Bulgariasat-1 in June 2017.

The rocket, which is part of the Falcon 9's block 5, represents the company's assumed final version of its nine-engine workhorse of a rocket. In the process, they have carried thousands of pounds of cargo.

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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.

The Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, as the latest version is called, carried the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 into orbit.

The company's goal has always been to make rocket launches more affordable by bringing rockets back from space and then launching them again on new missions. The first crewed flights of the Block 5-Dragon system could come as early as this year, SpaceX representatives have said.

We'd be remiss if we didn't note there's always the possibility of last-minute delays. Weather may be a little iffy, though; there's a 60 percent chance of good conditions.

That doesn't tell us much, but it's enough to know that whatever caused the launch abort wasn't serious enough for the entire mission to be delayed.

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