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SpaceX's Block 5 launches, lands safely, delivers satellite into orbit

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SpaceX's Block 5 rocket successful blasted-off on Friday afternoon. The rocket's first stage land safely back on Earth a few minutes later. Photo by SpaceX

By Brooks Hays, UPI

On the second launch attempt, SpaceX's Block 5 rocket, the final iteration of the Falcon 9, successfully blasted off on Friday.

The updated rocket model, upgraded to enhance reusability, carried a Bangabandhu Satellite-1 into geostationary orbit. It will be the first Bangladeshi communications satellite put into space.

The rocket launched right on time at 4:14 p.m. ET from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

On Thursday, a last-minute abort alert forced SpaceX to abandon it's launch plans. The brief launch window didn't give engineers enough time to identify and correct the technical glitch.

However, statements from SpaceX suggested the problem was with ground support systems, not the rocket itself.

After launch, the mission achieved a quick succession of feats: a first stage engine cutoff followed by a stage separation, and then a second stage burn and fairing release. Moments later, the second stage cut its burn.

"Second stage engine cutoff confirmed," SpaceX wrote on Twitter. "Second stage and satellite now in coast phase."

Shortly before the second stage separation, the first stage executed a controlled landing back on SpaceX's drone ship in the Atlantic -- the company's 25th recovered first stage.

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Technology - U.S. Daily News: SpaceX's Block 5 launches, lands safely, delivers satellite into orbit
SpaceX's Block 5 launches, lands safely, delivers satellite into orbit
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