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SpaceX's new Falcon 9 Rocket Debuts today: Watch Live



  SpaceX's New Falcon 9 Rocket Block 5 Debut Today: How to See Live

SpaceX's first Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket races ahead of scheduled launch on May 10, 2018 toward NASA Kennedy Space Center in Launch Pad 39A.

Image: Elon Musk / Instagram

The latest version of SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 Rocket will debut today (May 1

0), and you can watch the first launch (and landing attempt) live.

The first "Block 5" Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch Bangalore 1 communications satellite Bangalore 1 for the Bangladesh Government today at 4:12 pm EDT (2012 GMT) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. And the first stage of the two-stage rocket will try to land on a robotic "drone ship" off the coast of Florida shortly after take-off. You can watch the action live here on Space.com and on our homepage, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly on the SpaceX website.

The startup window opens at 4:12 pm. EDT and runs until 18:22 EDT (2222 GMT). There is only a 20 percent chance that bad weather will thwart the attempt, officials from the 45th US Air Force weather squad said Monday (7 May). [6 Fun Facts About SpaceX]

Block 5 contains a number of improvements designed to increase the reliability and reusability of rockets, SpaceX officials said. The first stage of Block 4 Falcon 9 is limited to two launches, but the first stage of Block 5 should be ten times liftable – with only inspections between landing and takeoff – and up to 100 times with some refurbishments, depending on the company representative. (SpaceX has expressed a desire to reuse the upper tier of the two-stage Falcon 9 at some point, but has not yet made a concerted effort.)

The Block 5 was also designed to meet the stringent NASA requirements. SpaceX holds a billionaire NASA contract to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), and the company is using its Dragon Capsule and Block 5 Falcon 9.

The first crew-carried flights the system could already coming this year, representatives of SpaceX said.

Boeing also holds a NASA crew contract. The space giant will fly agency astronauts to and from the ISS with a capsule called CST-100 Starliner and United Launch Alliance Atlas V rockets.

Bangabandhu 1 will be Bangladesh's first communications satellite. The spacecraft will provide a variety of broadcast and communications services to residents of the densely populated South Asian nation, including the French company Thales Alenia Space, which built Bangabandhu 1.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom Facebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com.


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