This afternoon, SpaceX is slated to launch the first high-orbit communications satellite ever for the country of Bangladesh, and the company is using its most advanced Falcon 9 yet for the job. Called Bangabandhu-1, the satellite is riding into space on top of SpaceX's Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket. It's the last and most powerful version of the Falcon 9 that SpaceX plans to make, as the company switches its focus to developing a new giant rocket and spaceship combo, the BFR.
The Block 5 sports numerous upgrades designed to make the rocket easier to reuse. Thanks to the changes, the Block 5 shouldn't require as much time or effort to be made flight-ready again once it lands. And this particular rocket will be showing off its landing skills after today's flight. The first stage of the Falcon 9 will return to Earth following launch and attempt a touchdown on one of SpaceX's autonomous drone ships in the Atlantic Ocean.