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SpaceX Falcon 9 Lifts Off In Florida, Places Indonesian Satellite In Orbit
07 August 2018, 08:27 | Justin Tyler
WATCH LIVE: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch From Cape Canaveral Air Force Station |
The Block 5 is SpaceX's final version of the Falcon 9, and features improvements to enable first-stage reuse 10 or more times.
At 1:18 AM E.T., SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9's first stage on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The new satellite will replace Telkom 1, which failed in a mysterious debris-shedding event in geostationary orbit past year. The spacecraft - whose name translates as "red and white", a reference to the colors of the Indonesian flag - will become part of the network run by PT Telkom Indonesia, the nation's largest telecommunications provider.
Tonight's focus on the refurbished, soot-stained booster stole the spotlight from Merah Putih, an SSL-built satellite that's created to provide a range of telecommunication services from geostationary orbit, including mobile broadband access across Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
Tuesday's launch was the third SpaceX mission in 16 days, and the company's 15th launch of the year overall. Rather, it really is the case that the first Block 5 reuse is one of the most important things ever done by SpaceX.
Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and chief executive, said in May that the company would likely spend a few months conducting a rigorous inspection of the first recovered Block 5 Falcon 9 booster before preparing it for another launch.
Just three months separated today's mission from the first launch of the same Block 5 booster.
At 1:18 a.m. from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Falcon 9 rocket roared off launch pad 40. "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart".
"Once we recover this booster, we plan to fly it a third time later this year", Lyons said.
The Merah Putih satellite launched Tuesday will provide C-band telecommunications services over Indonesia and India.
Officials from Telkom Indonesia expected the Telkom 1 satellite, which launched in 1999, to remain operational until Merah Putih's launch. Space Systems Loral of Palo Alto, California, built the satellite ahead of schedule, according to Telkom Indonesia. If that happens, we'd see the same Block 5 launch a whopping three times in just one year. The new satellite will service Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
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