After "crazy hard" development, SpaceX's Block 5 rocket has taken flight

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The highly anticipated event suffered a last-minute delay on May 10, but just about 24 hours later, the rocket successfully took the skies, carrying Bangladesh's very first satellite, theBangabandhu-1.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, was thrilled to have its own satellite to spread internet throughout the land and provide emergency services in case of natural disasters. But in the eight-year history of flying Falcon 9 rockets, SpaceX has only ever sent the same rocket to space twice. And this particular rocket will be showing off its landing skills after the flight.

The first stage of SpaceX's first Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket sits on the deck of the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You" just after acing its landing on May 11, 2018.

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The Block 5 variation of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will be the last major upgrade the company's workhorse rocket.

With greater refurbishment, a Block 5 could be launched up to 100 times. According to a SpaceX news release, the rocket's second stage deployed the 3.9-ton (3.5 metric tons) satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit about 33 minutes after the Falcon 9 lifted off from KSC's historic Launch Pad 39A. As such, Block 5 rockets have been created to conform to NASA's crew-carrying requirements. By comparison, the other reused boosters that SpaceX has flown until now had a maximum of two launches each. Moments later, the second stage cut its burn.

Musk said it is possible to reduce the marginal costs for a Falcon 9 launch to "down under $5 or $6 million", in around three years. The question is what "mass penalty" will have to be paid, primarily in terms of the fuel needed to slow the second stage down so that it can make a controlled descent back through Earth's atmosphere.

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"We expect it to be a mainstay of SpaceX's business", Musk said, "and to complete something of the order of 300 flights before retirement".

A few minutes after blast-off was aborted, mission controllers for billionaire Elon Musk's private launch company, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies, said they would try again today.

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