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SpaceX Set to Debut Newest Falcon 9 Rocket: 'Block 5'


SpaceX is set to debut the latest, most advanced version of its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket this Thursday (May 10).

The company determined that its first Falcon 9 "Block 5" booster is ready to go, after analyzing data from a routine prelaunch static-fire test that occurred Friday (May 4) at historic Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

"Targeting Falcon 9 Block 5 launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on May 10 from Pad 39A in Florida," SpaceX representatives wrote on Twitter today (May 7). [6 Fun Facts About SpaceX]

Bangabandhu 1 is a communications satellite that SpaceX is launching for the government of Bangladesh.

The two-stage Block 5 Falcon 9 is designed to take reusability to new heights. SpaceX has landed and re-flown numerous Falcon 9 first stages over the past few years, but none of these individual boosters has launched more than twice. Block 5 first stages, however, are designed to fly 10 times with just inspections between landing and liftoff, and 100 times with some refurbishment involved, SpaceX representatives have said.

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