SpaceX launch of newest version of reusable Falcon 9 rocket called off at last minute

SpaceX launch of newest version of reusable Falcon 9 rocket called off at last minute

It’s time for SpaceX to test out the new rocket it hopes will eventually carry astronauts into space.

On Thursday afternoon, the company had planned to launch the newest version of the reusable Falcon 9 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but the launch was called off at the last minute due to an automatic abort.

Another launch opportunity is available on Friday at 3:15 p.m.

The so-called Falcon 9 Block 5 is designed to meet NASA’s requirements for human spaceflight, and SpaceX plans to reuse it as many as 10 times. In the past, SpaceX rockets have been only capable of making about two trips.

Another key update: this rocket is built so that it won’t need to be refurbished between flights.

“The only thing that needs to change is you reload propellant and fly again,” CEO Elon Musk said in a call with reporters Thursday. “Just like an aircraft,” he later added.

The Falcon 9 Block 5 will deliver the Bangabandhu-1 communications satellite into orbit. Once in place, the satellite will provide telecom services for Bangladesh and the surrounding region.

A key part of the mission will be landing the rocket’s first-stage booster once it returns to Earth. SpaceX said its drone ship, called “Of Course I Still Love You,” will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean to catch it.

Last week, Musk shared a picture of the rocket making its way to the launch pad.

He said Thursday that he’s anxious about the launch, since a considerable number of things have the potential to go wrong.

“I’m stressed. Any good wishes would be appreciated,” Musk said.

Source: SpaceX launch of newest version of reusable Falcon 9 rocket called off at last minute

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