Elon Musk's SpaceX is about to showcase an upgraded SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to the world on Thursday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Falcon 9 Upgrades
On Monday, May 7, SpaceX revealed through Twitter that it is expecting to launch the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on the SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket. The Block 5 spacecraft has several enhancements that were not featured in previous formats. SpaceX upgraded the rocket's heat shield and a helium tank. Also, the rocket comes with retractable landing legs that can be used without having to remove them from the sip.
Another significant improvement that the company made to the spacecraft was that it incorporated several NASA safety requirements. Company insiders believe that SpaceX wants NASA to use the rocket to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
What Is It Carrying?
When it launches on Thursday, the SpaceX vehicle will be carrying the Bangabandhu 1 satellite. The satellite is the first instrument that the Bangladesh Communications Satellite Company Limited would launch into space. The Bangladesh government-owned company hopes to use the satellite to expand their presence in Asia.
Preparing For A Milestone
As Musk and SpaceX prepare to launch the Bangabandhu 1 satellite, the aerospace company is strengthening its relationship with NASA. The SpaceX Crew Dragon is scheduled to take two astronauts to and from the International Space Station during the third quarter of 2018. This will be the first time in years that crewed flights would be launched on American soil.
On April 25, Iridium Communications, Inc. announced that SpaceX would launch five additional Iridium NEXT satellites from its West Coast base on May 19. The Falcon 9 Rocket will carry the five satellites. Iridium Communications, Inc. and SpaceX have worked closely together since 2006. SpaceX is helping the company launch 75 satellites into outer space, which will track items that are untraceable through traditional methods such as animals, buoys, people, and planes.
Musk tweeted on April 15 that SpaceX would use a giant party balloon to save the upper stage of its Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX has pioneered retrieving and reusing several rocket parts for future launches. This methodology saved SpaceX money. The company also announced that it would build its BFR spacecraft in Los Angeles. Musk and SpaceX have not revealed what part of the Los Angeles city limits that they would make the rocket that will go to Mars.
Tech Times reached to SpaceX for a comment regarding this story.