Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Research | By Derrick Holloway

SpaceX's Falcon 9 launches Indonesian satellite

SpaceX's Falcon 9 launches Indonesian satellite

SpaceX is set to launch their Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Merah Putih communications satellite from Cape Canaveral to Tuesday, August 7.

B1046's second suborbital jaunt and landing aboard drone ship Of Course I Still Love You will nearly undoubtedly be a turning point in the future history of SpaceX.

The satellite launched today, dubbed Merah Putih, which means "red and white", in a reference to the Indonesian flag will assist PT Telkom Indonesia to provide communications services to customers throughout Indonesia and the greater Southeast Asia region. In March 2017, the company was able to successfully relaunch its block 4 booster rocket that had previously launched a year earlier.

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The two fires burning a few miles apart and known as the Mendocino Complex are being treated as one incident. The fire was started two weeks ago by sparks from a steel wheel of a towed-trailer's flat tire.

SpaceX hasn't gone into detail about how hard it was to get the used Block 5 ready for reuse but SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk made Twitter comments last month that hinted it isn't an easy process.

The satellite is expected to reach its orbit at about 32,000 kilometers above sea level within the next 11 days before its full operation in the third week of September.

Musk claims that the new Block 5 booster can be used for up to 100 launches with "moderate" refurbishment work, and costs only $50 million to launch. Though SpaceX hasn't released much about what they found when they did take the Block 5 apart, the quick turnaround between launches indicates that Block 5 seems to be living up to that promise.

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In the tiny hours of Tuesday morning, SpaceX launched an Indonesian satellite in its 15th flight this year.

The rocket, using a first stage that flew in May with the Bangabandhu-1 satellite for Bangladesh, lifted off at 1:18 a.m.

Not so for SpaceX, which Monday relaunched and retrieved its block 5 Falcon 9 rocket for the first time. Meanwhile, the second stage continued onward and went through its own follow-up firing to send Merah Putih into its intended orbit.

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"Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm that it does not need to be taken apart", Musk said during a May 10 call with reporters. Built by Lockheed Martin, the satellite was 18 years old, operating three years past its design life.

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