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SpaceX's First Launch Of Falcon 9 'Block 5' Aborted At The Last Minute

May 11, 2018 01:30 AM EDT
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The highly anticipated launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket hit a snag and gets aborted at the last minute on Thursday, May 10.

The exact reason why the automatic abort system was activated has not yet been determined.

Last-Minute Delay Of Falcon 9 Launch

According to a report from Reuters, a technical glitch caused the company to postpone the first commercial flight of Falcon 9 rocket's latest iteration Block 5.

Space.com reveals that there were 58 seconds left on the countdown clock when the automatic abort was suddenly triggered. When blast off was aborted, SpaceX was not able to diagnose and fix the issue before the two-hour launch window passed at 6:22 p.m.

While the specific reason for the delay has not yet been revealed, SpaceX was quick to post an update on Twitter to assure followers that they still intend to push through with the rocket's maiden voyage on Friday, May 11. Just like in the first attempt, there will be a two-hour window for launching from 4:14 p.m. to 6:21 p.m. EDT.

The company added that the rocket and satellite are both in good condition.

No explanation for the automatic abort has been provided as of now. Reuters notes that SpaceX needs to check the data logs from the onboard computers to find out what went wrong with the launch so close to takeoff.

This mission, the first for Falcon 9 Block 5, will launch Bangladesh's first communications satellite Bangabandhu-1 into orbit. Built by Thales Alenia Space in France, the satellite is set to offer television and data services throughout the country.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 Block 5

SpaceX's new Falcon 9 Block 5, designed to eventually conduct manned missions, is the company's first rocket that meets NASA's standards to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.

The newest version of Falcon 9 is packed with around 100 power, safety, and reusability upgrades. Reusability is a particularly significant part of the SpaceX model as the company intends for the Block 5 to be reused up to 10 times with minimal refurbishments and over 100 times with just minor maintenance.

Its reusability updates also include a reusable heat shield protecting the engines and titanium.

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