SpaceX’s upgraded Falcon 9 rocket debuted May 11 with a successful launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida carrying the Bangabandhu 1 communications satellite.
The Falcon 9 Block 5 launcher lifted off from pad 39A at 4:14 p.m. EDT (2014 GMT) on May 11 to mark SpaceX’s ninth mission of the year.
The “Block 5” upgrade is the same version of the Falcon 9 rocket that SpaceX will use to launch astronauts under NASA’s commercial crew program.
These images show the Falcon 9 rocket blasting off from Florida’s Space Coast, and the first stage’s touchdown on a SpaceX drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Read our full story for details on the mission.
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