Indonesian communications satellite deployed in orbit by SpaceX

Image courtesy of PT Telkom

That launch back in May was the first time the company used Block 5 for an actual mission.

At 1:18 AM E.T., SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Furthermore, while SpaceX's competitors have focused only on recovery of the first stage launcher, SpaceX has set a target date of 2022 for development a fully recoverable 150-ton payload rocket (including second stage), which would place them several years ahead of Chinese firms, if they are successful. 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.

On board was Merah Putih, a communications satellite for Indonesia. This was SpaceX's 15th launch so far this year and its 60th of a Falcon 9 rocket.

A few minutes after separation, three of the first stage's nine engines re-ignited to slow the booster for entry back into the discernible atmosphere, using four titanium "grid fins" at the top of the rocket to maintain its orientation and trajectory. Its upgraded rocket allows the company to reuse a first-stage booster 10 times or more.

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Falcon 9 B1046.2 successfully landed aboard OCISLY after its second launch, paving the way for its third mission and beyond. "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart".

By 2019, SpaceX founder Elon Musk believes that the company will be able to launch and land a Falcon 9 booster, then launch it again 24 hours later.

Launch commentator Lauren Lyons said the booster would be prepared for its third launch later this year.

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

Merah Putih's on-board propulsion system will be used to circularize the orbit at the intended 22,300-mile altitude and to maneuver it to its designated operational location at 108 degrees east longitude. That flight is scheduled for launch next month from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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