SpaceX's new Falcon 9 rocket is vertical at Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) for today's launch of Bangladesh's first satellite, Bangabandhu-1. The launch is targeted for 4:42pm EDT with a backup time tomorrow at 4:14pm EDT. Bangabandhu-1 will be delivered into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) approximately 33 minutes after liftoff.
This satellite is the very first of many to launch on SpaceX's new Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket. This new and final variant version of the Falcon 9 will help aid in the goal of rapid reusability that will be capable of 10 or more re-flights with minimal refurbishment. The new rocket features retractable landing legs, titanium grid fins, and thermal protection on the interstage and landing legs. The first stage will land on the droneship "Of Course I Still Love You", stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Bangabandhu-1 is Bangladesh's first communications satellite. This satellite will provide Direct-to-home services, video distribution, and very small aperture terminal communications across Bangladesh. This satellite is expected to last as least 15 years.