AUG 07, 2018 4:47 PM PDT

SpaceX Launches Refurbished 'Block 5' Falcon 9 Rocket for the First Time

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

SpaceX is renowned for its Falcon 9 rocket, which frequently caters to NASA’s International Space Station resupply missions and sends Earth-orbiting satellites into space for commercial partners. But it wasn’t until recently that the space company began using an upgraded version of its Falcon 9 rocket known as the ‘Block 5.’

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket stood tall in Cape Canaveral, Florida just before launch on Tuesday.

Image Credit: SpaceX/Twitter

The Block 5 Falcon 9 first took flight in May when the company used it to send a Bangabandhu Satellite-1 into space. But SpaceX recently refurbished that rocket, and it was used once again on Tuesday during a launch that took place at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:18 A.M. Eastern time.

The launch involved lifting the Merah Putih communications satellite to a geostationary transfer orbit in space. The satellite was carefully tucked inside of the Falcon 9’s cargo hold, which resides at the top of the rocket.

SpaceX provided a live stream of Tuesday’s launch from the company’s website at the time, but you can also observe it via the YouTube video embedded below if you missed it:

Related: Watch SpaceX send a Tesla Roadster into space with its Falcon Heavy rocket

After the rocket performed its primary mission, SpaceX commanded it to land upright on a drone ship with a landing pad in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This fully-autonomous landing sequence performed flawlessly after the rocket put the satellite into space.

Tuesday’s launch was particularly significant because it marked the first time in history that SpaceX used a refurbished Block 5 variant of its Falcon 9 rocket.

The Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket supersedes the company’s previous-generation Block 4 Falcon 9 and offers more engine thrust and superior reusability. Not only does it recover and clean up nicer than the previous-generation Falcon 9, but the same rocket can allegedly fly up to ten separate times before having to be retired.

At least two other Block 5 Falcon 9 rockets have launched since May, and are currently undergoing refurbishment so that they can be used in future missions.

Source: SpaceX

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
FEB 23, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Resolves a Minor Hiccup with Voyager 2 Spacecraft's Performance
FEB 23, 2020
NASA Resolves a Minor Hiccup with Voyager 2 Spacecraft's Performance
After spending more than four decades in outer space, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft officially left the heliosphere ...
APR 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Balances the Perseverance Rover's Chassis
APR 26, 2020
NASA Balances the Perseverance Rover's Chassis
Engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida has been working tirelessly over the past seve ...
MAY 30, 2020
Space & Astronomy
SpaceX Crewed Demo-2 Mission Lifts Astronauts Into Space From U.S. Soil
MAY 30, 2020
SpaceX Crewed Demo-2 Mission Lifts Astronauts Into Space From U.S. Soil
Following a cancelled rocket launch opportunity this past Wednesday due to unfavorable weather conditions, SpaceX and NA ...
JUN 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Was Oumuamua Just An Interstellar Hydrogen Iceberg?
JUN 07, 2020
Was Oumuamua Just An Interstellar Hydrogen Iceberg?
If you were following space news outlets back in 2017, then you likely heard about the particularly odd cigar-shaped spa ...
JUN 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why SpaceX's Droneship Footage Often Cuts Out During Landings
JUN 09, 2020
Why SpaceX's Droneship Footage Often Cuts Out During Landings
SpaceX has nearly mastered the art of landing the first stages of the plethora of rockets its sends into space so that t ...
JUN 25, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Did Scientists Just Discover the Smallest Black Hole Known to Man?
JUN 25, 2020
Did Scientists Just Discover the Smallest Black Hole Known to Man?
An array of antennas in the US and Italy, known as the International LIGO-Virgo Collaboration, received some unusual rea ...
Loading Comments...