SpaceX is all set to reach yet another milestone in its glorious journey to space. The American space agency, founded by Elon Reeve Musk, is gearing up to launch the latest version of its reusable Falcon 9 rocket for the first time on Thursday.
The Block 5 Falcon 9 is scheduled to take off from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch window will open at 4:12 pm EDT on Thursday, although the take-off could be delayed for adverse weather or technical issues.
The launch will carry the 7,700-pound spacecraft Bangabandhu-1—Bangladesh’s first geostationary communications satellite.
"Targeting Falcon 9 Block 5 launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on May 10 from Pad 39A in Florida," SpaceX tweeted after a successful static-fire test on May 4.
Targeting Falcon 9 Block 5 launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on May 10 from Pad 39A in Florida.— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 7, 2018
According to Elon Musk, the Block 5 would be the final iteration of the Falcon 9 rocket, which could be reused up to 10 times without any renovation.
Earlier, the space agency had accomplished several successful deliveries of Block 3 and Block 4 in their beta phase.
The Block 3 and Block 4 are also known as Full Thrust rockets which carry their payload to orbit, and land.
Although, SpaceX launch the previous versions more than twice, could change with the Block 5 version of the Falcon 9. It is expected to be launched, landed and reused at least 10 times without any major refurbishment.
After the tenth successful delivery, it will be taken in for repairing and the process can be repeated 10 times. That means the Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket can be flown 100 times before retiring, according to reports.
Moreover, SpaceX is planning to take astronauts to the ISS for the first time later this year aboard a Block 5 Falcon 9. The NASA, however, directed the space company to prove Block 5's worthiness to carry human passengers on it.
The Dragon capsule that SpaceX has ready for ISS missions is the only one that can bring back any significant amounts of cargo from the ISS to Earth, claims SpaceX.