SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Friday, heading due east over the Atlantic Ocean to deliver the Bangabandhu 1 communications satellite into orbit around 33 minutes later.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket is poised for launch from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4:14 p.m. EDT (2014 GMT) Friday at the opening of a 127-minute launch window.
It will be the first launch of SpaceX’s upgraded “Block 5” version of the workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, featuring changes to make the vehicle easier to reuse and more reliable.
Perched atop the rocket is the Bangabandhu 1 communications satellite, a spacecraft made by Thales Alenia Space for the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. Bangabandhu 1 is the country’s first communications satellite, and it is named for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the Bangladeshi nation.
The timeline below outlines the launch sequence for the Falcon 9 flight with Bangabandhu 1.
The human-rated Crew Dragon spacecraft being developed by SpaceX will return to Earth under parachutes for splashdowns in ocean, and not execute helicopter-like propulsive touchdowns on land, a SpaceX official confirmed Monday.