4. May 2018
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – The first variant of SpaceX's Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket was rolled up the rampart of the Kennedy Space Center 39A launch complex in Preparing for a static fire test as part of the launch campaign for the Bangabandhu 1 mission.
SpaceX targets an eight-hour window (after NASASpaceFlight ) that opens at noon EDT (16: 00 GMT) May 4, 2018 to complete the static fire, which is expected to take 3.5 seconds , While the vehicle, without the payload and the fairing, was rolled horizontally from its integration hall, at 19 o'clock. EDT (23:00 GMT) On May 3, it was not raised vertically.
Static fire tests are performed to verify that all systems are functioning as intended. This includes both the ground support equipment and the rocket. Both stages of the Falcon 9 are refueled, as was the case with a normal countdown, resulting in a brief firing of the nine Merlin 1D engines at the base of the first stage.
The Bangabandhu-1 was launched on May 3. The mission was still aiming for the opening of a two-hour 25-minute start window, starting at 4 pm EDT (8:00 GMT), 7 May. However, media companies in Bangladesh, the country of origin of the company that will operate the geostationary communications satellite, have suggested that the launch date is due to " technical reasons " presumably on the satellite. This has not been confirmed by SpaceX, although the company usually only official launch date after the static fire test.
Regardless of when the mission is to fly, it will mark the inaugural flight of a Block 5 Falcon 9. The launcher is said to have numerous enhancements including increased engine thrust, more thermal protection around the first stage engines , a first-stage thermal protection coating, redesigned carbon-cladding ships and many other enhancements to enable quick reusability.
The most visible change is the color of the landing legs and the intermediate stage. Instead of being painted white, they remain in their black, unpainted condition.
SpaceX said it is aiming to fly each block 5 first stages 10 times or more with only a few weeks passing between flights. Block 3 and Block 4 cores currently require several months of renovation and are reused only once.
Derek Richardson holds a degree in mass media, with a focus in contemporary journalism, from the University of Washburn in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper Washburn Review. He also has a blog about the International Space Station called Orbital Velocity. He met with members of the Space Flight Insider team during the flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 with the satellite MUOS-4. Richardson joined our team shortly thereafter.
His passion for space caught fire as he watched Space Shuttle Discovery launch into space on October 29, 1998. Today, this excitement has accelerated towards orbit and shows no sign of slowing down. After trying his hand at math and engineering classes at college, he soon realized that his true vocation was to communicate with others through space. Since joining SpaceFlight Insider in 2015, Richardson has worked to improve the quality of our content and eventually became our editor-in-chief. @TheSpaceWriter