SpaceX successfully launches in Block 5 Falcon 9

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Capitalism in space: SpaceX today successfully placed in orbit Bangladesh’s first communications satellite, successfully using its upgraded Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 rocket, its first stage designed to be reused a minimum of ten times.

They successfully recovered the first stage, and will now take it apart to confirm this new version worked as planned. If so, it will be put back together and returned to service.

The leaders in the 2018 launch standings:

14 China
9 SpaceX
5 Russia

The U.S. and China are once again tied at 14 for the nation lead. SpaceX’s launch rate is presently double what it achieved last year, when it launched the most rockets of any private company ever.



  • Calvin Dodge

    It was probably a hot reentry, given that the first stage was going 8000 KPH when MECO occurred (lots of velocity to shed, and less fuel to spare). Should be a good test case for the new configuration (heat shields, etc.)

  • Joe From Houston

    Happy to witness a truly historic event. It looked effortless!

  • Michael

    One down six to go

  • Frank

    Next comes the Chinese copy.

  • Dick Eagleson

    I’m not going to hold my breath waiting on the “Chinese copy.” Should such a thing ever appear, it is likely to do so after SpaceX has effectively retired the smaller Falcons in favor of the big one. The Chinese have lately been doing almost as much “press release engineering” as the Russians.

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