Ground stations receive test signal from Bangabandhu-1

Falcon 9 Block 5 rolling onto launch pad as seen in Instagram post by Elon Musk

Falcon 9 Block 5 rolling onto launch pad as seen in Instagram post by Elon Musk

The upgraded Falcon 9 Block 5 launched a Bangladesh satellite called the Bangabandhu Satellite - 1.

Hawthorne-based SpaceX launched a newly upgraded Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida Friday, carrying a Bangladesh communications satellite toward orbit, then landed the rocket's first stage on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean for its 25th successful rocket recovery.

Falcon 9 is created to be capable of ten flights with least amount of refurbishments and modifications.

The rocket's initial stage was efficiently recouped, touchdown on the "Naturally I Still Love You" offshore droneship, concerning 8 mins after the launch, at an unmanned system vessel in the Pacific Sea. 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. The company seeks to reduce cost with the new Block 5. It also has less weight and a more easily produced structure. Eventually, SpaceX is slated to have "30 to 50" of these rockets in its fleets, though the final number "totally depends" on how many "customers insist on launching a new rocket".

"From now on, we become a proud member of the satellite club", a beaming Hasina said in a pre-recorded address that was broadcast on national television and social media minutes after the successful launch.

Bangabandhu Satellite-1 is Bangladesh's first geostationary communications satellite.

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

The launch was initially expected to take place on May 10, 2018, but due to triggering of the automatic abort switch, the launch was postponed at the last minute.

A lively Bangladeshi contingent, numbering around 200, including the prime minister's ICT affairs adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy, had enjoyed the first 36 minutes of the launch from the KSC visitors' area, Palak said.

SpaceX has signed a United States 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.

Bangabandhu-1 Satellite is to establish Bangladesh's own stake on space, opening up enormous opportunities providing three types of advantages involving information and communication technology (ICT), and the broadcasting industry, alongside brightening Bangladesh image.

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