Space X Booster Flies Again - This Time With an Indonesian Satellite

Jan Cross
August 9, 2018

7, 2018 the NewSpace company once more carried out a flight of its highly-successful Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX launched the first previously-flown "block 5" version of its Falcon 9 rocket early Tuesday, sending an Indonesian communications satellite into space and successfully recovering the first stage booster with a pinpoint landing on an offshore droneship.

SpaceX used its newest style booster for the second time to put a communications satellite into orbit for Indonesia.

"This satellite will play an important role in enhancing telephone and internet service for Indonesian's 17,000 islands", said Lauren Lyons, systems certification engineer for SpaceX.

SpaceX successfully landed the rocket's first stage for a second time on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic Ocean. It became the 28th booster that SpaceX has ever recovered.

That launch back in May was the first time the company used Block 5 for an actual mission. If that happens, we'd see the same Block 5 launch a whopping three times in just one year. After the vehicle landed on one of SpaceX's drone ships on completion of its flight, the company did its inspection and refurbishment over the last three months to get it ready for flight again.

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Musk has said that reusing rockets is essential for cutting costs in spaceflight and making space exploration more accessible.

Just by looking at the massive reduction in time, we can assume SpaceX has been working on the reusability of the blocks with good success.

SSL completed construction of the Merah Putih satellite ahead of schedule, according to Telkom Indonesia, also known as PT Telkom. After 18 years of service, beyond it design life, Telkom-1 suffered a fuel leak a year ago and began to break apart in orbit, disrupting services. The new satellite will service Indonesia and Southeast Asia. The spacecraft will be positioned in geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the equator at 108 degrees east longitude.

In December 2015, the Falcon 9 rocket achieved the first ever orbital class rocket landing after returning from delivering 11 communications satellites and this year, it launched Falcon Heavy, the heaviest rocket in use.

SpaceX is planning around 30 missions in 2018, up from a record of 18 in 2017.

A 65-minute launch window opens up at 3:33 a.m. on Saturday.

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