SpaceX booster flies again with Indonesia satellite

SpaceX launch

SpaceX launch

SpaceX has successfully reused the first Falcon 9 Block 5 booster less than three months after the rocket's major reliability and reusability upgrade debuted.

Formerly designated Telkom-4, the satellite renamed Merah Putih - representing the Indonesian flag's red and white colors - will replace the Telkom-1 spacecraft launched in 1999.

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

Tuesday's launch was the third SpaceX mission in 16 days, and the company's 15th launch of the year overall.

As in May, the reflown first-stage booster relit its engines after stage separation, and went through a series of burns to set down on the drone ship, christened "Of Course I Still Love You". It became the 28th booster that SpaceX has ever recovered.

The launch marked the first time that the Falcon 9's new "Block 5" booster had been recycled following the improved rocket's maiden launch on May 11.

At 1:18 a.m. from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Falcon 9 rocket roared off launch pad 40. He says that could happen as early as next 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. Yes, the first stage was just used in a launch back in May that sent Bangladeshi communications satellite Bangabandhu into orbit. 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.

The Merah Putih satellite launched Tuesday will provide C-band telecommunications services over Indonesia and India.

SSL completed construction of the Merah Putih satellite ahead of schedule, according to Telkom Indonesia, also known as PT Telkom.

SpaceX's next mission is set for launch no earlier than August 23 with the Telstar 18 VANTAGE communications satellite to provide broadcast, enterprise and government communications services over parts of India, China, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ocean region.

With the third reuse now explicitly on the table for B1046 "later this year", Falcon 9 has broken a two-launch ceiling that long loomed over its older predecessors.

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