Falcon 9 booster B1046

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Falcon 9 booster B1046
Bangabandhu Satellite-1 Mission (42025499722).jpg
B1046 lifting off for the first time on Bangabandhu-1 mission
Role First stage of orbital rocket
National origin United States
Type Falcon 9 first-stage booster
Manufacturer SpaceX
Construction number B1046
First flight May 11, 2018 (Bangabandhu-1)
Flights 3
Status In service

Falcon 9 booster B1046 is a reusable Falcon 9 first-stage booster manufactured by SpaceX. It has flown three times so far, a fourth and last flight is planned.


In October 2016, Elon Musk announced the Falcon 9 Block 5, which featured revisions such as increased thrust, improved landing legs, and upgrades for easier reuse, including thermal protection on the side of the vehicle and a reusable heat shield at the base to protect the engines and plumbing. [1][2]

After a year of delays, B1046 was completed and transported to SpaceX's McGregor facility for testing in preparation for its maiden flight.

Flight history[edit]

This Falcon 9 was first launched on May 11, 2018, carrying Bangabandhu-1, Bangladesh's first geostationary communications satellite. This marked the 54th flight of the Falcon 9 and the first flight of the Falcon 9 Block 5.[3] After completing a successful ascent, B1046 separated from the second stage and landed on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You. This marked the 11th successful landing on OCISLY and the 25th successful landing of the Falcon 9.

After inspection and refurbishment, B1046 was launched a second time on August 7, 2018, carrying the Telkom-4 (Merah Putih) satellite. The Telkom-4 mission marked the first time an orbital-class rocket booster launched two GTO missions. This was also the first re-flight of a Block 5 booster.[4]

Four months after the Telkom-4 mission, B1046 arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base to support of the SSO-A mission. Following delays for additional satellite checks,[5] liftoff occurred from SLC-4E on December 3, 2018. This marked the first time that the same orbital-class booster flew three times.[6] While the mission profile allowed for the booster to return to the launch site, it landed offshore on the drone ship Just Read The Instructions due to vibration concerns for a Delta IV Heavy and its NRO payload awaiting launch at nearby SLC-6.

Past missions[edit]

Flight # Launch date (UTC) Mission # Payload Pictures Launch pad Landing location Notes
1 May 11, 2018 54 Bangabandhu-1 Bangabandhu Satellite-1 Mission (42025498972) KSC LC-39A Of Course I Still Love You (ASDS) First flight of a Block 5 booster

Launch of Bangladesh's first geostationary communications satellite

2 August 7, 2018 60 Merah Putih Merah Putih (30041972208) CCAFS SLC-40 Of Course I Still Love You (ASDS) First reflight of a Block 5 booster
3 December 3, 2018 64 Spaceflight SSO-A (SmallSat Express)
VAFB SLC-4E Just Read The Instructions (ASDS) First third flight of the same orbital-class booster

Largest number of satellites launched at once from the United States

Upcoming missions[edit]

Flight # Launch date (UTC) Launch Pad Mission Notes
4 NET December 2019 KSC LC-39A Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort Test [7] High-speed abort test of Crew Dragon; booster will be destroyed in flight.

B1046 records and achievements[edit]

  • First Block 5 booster to fly [3]
  • Launched Bangladesh's first geostationary communications satellite [3]
  • First re-flight of a Block 5 booster [4]
  • First booster to fly two missions to geosynchronous transfer orbit [8][9]
  • First orbital-class booster to fly three times [10]
  • The only Falcon 9 to have launched from all three of SpaceX's active launch sites as of November 2019
  • Largest batch of satellites launched from the United States [10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Musk offers more details about Mars mission architecture". SpaceNews.com. 2016-10-23. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  2. ^ "Spacex Falcon 9 Block 5 targets 24 hour turnaround, no refurbishment reuse and relaunch a dozen times". NextBigFuture.com. 2017-08-29. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  3. ^ a b c "Bangabandhu-1 sucessfully [sic] launched by first Block 5 Falcon 9 – SpaceX's goal of affordable access to space". www.nasaspaceflight.com. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  4. ^ a b "Falcon 9 launch timeline with Merah Putih". spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  5. ^ "SpaceX Delays Historic Third Launch of Used Rocket (and Its Flock of Satellites)". Space.com. Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  6. ^ "SpaceX official says company about to launch a Falcon 9 for the third time". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  7. ^ "SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft suffers an anomaly during static fire testing at Cape Canaveral". April 20, 2019. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  8. ^ "First Block 5 Falcon 9 static fires ahead of Bangabandhu-1 launch – NASASpaceFlight.com". Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  9. ^ "SpaceX Falcon 9 launches Merah Putih for first Block 5 reflight – NASASpaceFlight.com". Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  10. ^ a b "SpaceX Falcon 9 launches SSO-A multi-sat mission". www.nasaspaceflight.com. Retrieved 2018-12-04.