SpaceX May Launch Unveiled, Agency Prepares for Block 5 Debut   

SpaceX is now working out for its planned missions for May 2018. Behind their April launches, they are now processing the three missions that will be launched this coming May. These three missions will comprehend two flight –proven launches with SES-12, the Iridium NEXT-6/GRACE-FO rideshare and at the same time the much-awaited debut of the Block 5 variant of the Falcon 9. The latter will be launching the first satellite of Bangladesh that will orbit earlier than May 4. 

SpaceX’s May Marked:  

The company will unveil its three missions in May 2018 following its achievement with Iridium NEXT-5 for Iridium Communications, NASA’s CRS-14 as well as TESS for NASA, Orbital ATK, and MIT. 

It is expected that SpaceX will unfold three flights that will reveal a total of nine satellites to orbit. These three flights include Bangabandhu-1, SES-12, and Iridium NEXT 51-55, GRACE-FO-1 and -2. Two of these will be revealed in Geostationary Transfer Orbit (Bangabandhu-1 and SES-12). Meanwhile, the seven will be launched in the polar Low Earth Orbit (two GRACE-FO satellites and the Iridiums.)

On the other hand, these May campaigns will start this April. This coming Monday, April 30, the company will roll the Bangabandhu-1 vehicle out to LC-39A. It will be held at the Kennedy Space Center, FL, for Static Fire. 

Meanwhile, this is the first time that a Block 5 Falcon 9 graces SpaceX’s launch pad. Furthermore, it is also the Block 5’s first final major test before its inaugural flight. When it is already connected to Pad-A’s systems, the company will settle the first Block 5 (core B1046) with the use of a standard countdown and fueling procedure. It will validate the entire booster as well as second stage systems and include and conduct an engine firing. 

In fact, the core already passed through Acceptance Testing at McGregor, Texas. Last week, SpaceX’s Hans Koenigsmann explained, “The first Block 5’s acceptance runs were extremely smooth, noting that the Block 5 upgrade made it through all of its McGregor testings far faster than previous major Block upgrades to the Falcon 9 have.” 

The Static Fire that will be held on Monday is approximately stretched for not more than six hours, according to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and KSC Emergency Operations Support capabilities. The first Block 5 Static Fire is said to last around 5 to 7 seconds to keep a good amount of data for engine health and performance.