Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Elon Musk's Five Year Plan of SpaceX: Working on 300 Missions

Elon Musk's Five Year Plan of SpaceX: Working on 300 Missions

The newly minted Block-5 edition of the Falcon 9, equipped with about 100 upgrades for greater power, safety and reusability than its Block-4 predecessor, lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center.

Bangladesh blasted its way into the space age Friday after USA company SpaceX launched Dhaka's Bangabandhu-1 satellite into orbit, in a social-media event described by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as a "glorious day" for the South Asian country. After stage separation, SpaceX will try to land the Falcon 9's first stage on its drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. This is the 25th successful Falcon 9 powered touchdown. A last-minute abort halted Thursday's try.

The launch was another in a string of resounding successes for Musk's aerospace company, whose ability to pioneer new advances in space technology have stood in contrast to the production struggles of his electric auto company, Tesla.

For this new model, SpaceX enhanced engine performance, strengthened various parts of the rocket and improved the landing gear system. For these missions, the Falcon 9 must be certified as man-rated. By comparison, the other reused boosters that SpaceX has flown until now had a maximum of two launches each. Capable of launching spacecraft to Mars - Musk's ultimate ambition is to colonize the red planet - the BFR will replace not only the Falcon 9, but the brawny Falcon Heavy. With uprated first- and second-stage engines, a larger second-stage propellant tank, and propellant densification, the vehicle can carry substantial payloads to geostationary orbit and perform a propulsive landing for recovery. Alterations are focused on increasing the speed of production and efficiency of re-usability. The booster is created to be reused up to 10 times with little maintenance between missions and up to 100 times overall.

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On Twitter, Bangladeshi citizens expressed their support for the mission, despite the early hour of the launch.

Redesigned and requalified valves for higher levels and much longer duration.

"On this day, I would like to remember Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who initiated the task of entering the Space Age by setting up Bangladesh's first-ever satellite earth station", Dhaka Tribune quoted State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak as saying.

The launch was originally planned for May 10 and postponed to take place the following day after an error was found just a minute before launch. NASA takes seven successful flights until the brand new enemy receives last certification for a manned mission.

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