SpaceX launches Block 5 Falcon 9, a radically reusable rocket

SpaceX halts countdown of first commercial launch of updated Falcon 9 rocket in Florida

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launched its more reusable rocket for the first time, a major step forward in reducing the cost of space flight.

Yesterday was supposed to be one of the biggest launches in SpaceX history, with the new Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket heading into space for the very first time.

The rocket, which is carrying a satellite for Bangladesh into orbit, was scheduled to blast off from launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Thursday, but the planned launch was scrubbed. Previous versions of the Falcon 9 could be launched only twice before retirement.

The mission will see the first communications satellite for the country of Bangladesh placed into orbit.

SpaceX has landed and reflown boosters many times before.

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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 Block 5 has new, black landing legs that are retractable.

State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, who is in Florida to witness the launch, said the satellite would be launched 36,000km up today with the newly-built Falcon-9 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Falcon 9 Block 5 is created to be capable of 10 or more flights with very limited refurbishment as SpaceX continues to strive for rapid reusability and extremely high reliability. It has more powerful engines and better heat shielding at the base of the rocket.

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