Bangabandhu Satellite-1 Mission

Posted May 11, 2018

"Targeting Falcon 9 Block 5 launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on May 10 from Pad 39A in Florida", SpaceX representatives wrote on Twitter on May 7.

Bangabandhu Satellite-1 is scheduled to blast off from launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX CEO and Grimes' new soulmate Elon Musk says the Block 5 will carry NASA astronauts to space as soon as December, 2018, with a few test flights before then. The launch windowopens at 4:42 p.m. and closes at 6:21 p.m. Eastern. Currently, SpaceX is scheduling the launch for 5:47 p.m. The satellite is expected to bring Ku-band coverage to Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal in addition to surrounding countries.

Air Force weather forecasters expect 80 percent "go" conditions for the launch of Bangladesh's Bangabandhu-1 communications satellite, citing the presence of thick clouds as the only concern. The spacecraft will provide a variety of broadcast and communications services to residents of the densely populated South Asian nation. The fact that a Least Developed Country was able to afford the cost of a satellite and launch campaign speaks to the enormity of how SpaceX has changed the launch market with its incredibly low cost and reliable Falcon 9, which comes in at a baseline (brand new first stage) price of just $62 million Dollars, according to the company's website.

A second stage COPV apparently ruptured during a pre-launch test September 1, 2016, triggering a catastrophic explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 and its satellite payload and heavily damaged the launch complex.

Although the company hasn't outlined all the changes, there will be a stronger heat shield for the trip back through the Earth's atmosphere and new retractable landing legs.

The first crew-carrying flights using this system could come as early as this year, SpaceX representatives have said.

Falcon 9 and its three-core sibling, Falcon Heavy, will fill the gap and help fund research and development until BFR's debut.