SpaceX launches Indonesian comsat with 'used' booster

Enlarge  A Block 5 variant of the Falcon 9 rocket launches

REUSE, REUSE, REUSE. This launch is the first to employ a reused Block 5 - the first stage of the rocket.

A SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket rumbled early into the heavens Tuesday morning as it launched an Indonesian communications satellite into orbit. Just nine minutes later, the rocket's first stage made a successful landing on the "Of course I still love you' drone ship aba coast, according to CNBC".

The up-and-down journey was the second such trip for the same Falcon 9 booster, which debuted May 11 with the successful launch of Bangladesh's first communications satellite. Today's launch put Indonesia's Merah Putih satellite to a high geostationary transfer orbit.

Launching at 1:18 a.m. ET, the flight carried communications satellite Merah Putih, which is named for the red and white colors of the Indonesian flag.

The Merah Putih will become a part of the network of satellites run by PT Telkom Indonesia, the nation's largest telecommunications provider.

SpaceX is aiming for another commercial satellite launch from the Cape later this month - potentially its fourth launch in as many weeks.

The block 5 is the rocket SpaceX founder Elon Musk is counting on to launch astronauts to the International Space Station starting next year, the centerpiece of the company's drive to lower launch costs while improving reliability. "This is possible due to those Block 5 upgrades, which brings SpaceX closer to its goal of full and rapid rocket reusability", she said on tonight's webcast, which was watched by more than 25,000 YouTube users at its peak.

He continued to say that the Block 5's first stage booster had been created to fly 10 times "with no scheduled refurbishment" and with "moderate scheduled maintenance", ultimately being capable of 100 missions.

The new satellite will replace the aging Telkom 1 satellite, which has been in operation since 1999. The new telecom craft was built by SSL in Palo Alto, California.

"Satellite plays a vital role in our telecommunications infrastructure", said Zulhelfi Abidin, chief technology officer of Telkom Indonesia, in a press release earlier this year.

The next launch from Cape Canaveral is scheduled for Saturday at 3:33 a.m. EDT (0733 GMT), when a United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket is set to loft NASA's Parker Solar Probe on a seven-year mission to fly through the sun's corona.

SpaceX only had a two-hour launch window that opened at 1:18 am EST Tuesday in which to complete the mission.

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