Newest SpaceX booster flies again with Indonesia satellite

  • Newest SpaceX booster flies again with Indonesia satellite

Newest SpaceX booster flies again with Indonesia satellite

They say "third times a charm", but that expression is usually reserved for success after failure.

The Block 5 rocket or Falcon 9's first stage booster also re-landed successfully on one of the company's drone ships "Of Course I Still Love" parked a few hundred miles east of Cape Canaveral in the Atlantic.

Tuesday's flight came 16 days after an early morning Falcon 9 launch July 22 that sent the Telstar 19 VANTAGE communications satellite into orbit for Telesat.

This is the first time that the Block 5 booster has been reused which means that this version of rocket could be launched as many as 10 times, with limited refurbishment between missions, as reported by Bloomberg.

B1046's second suborbital jaunt and landing aboard drone ship Of Course I Still Love You will nearly undoubtedly be a turning point in the future history of SpaceX. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has called Block 5 "the most reliable rocket ever built". One of the most important fronts is the development of an affordable reusable rocket booster system that can be used to launch satelites and manned craft into space.

"This rocket probably won't refly for a couple of months, but by late this year we should be seeing substantial reflight of "Block 5" vehicles, probably with "Block 5" boosters seeing their third, maybe their fourth reflight", Musk pointed out.

Today's launch lofted the Merah Putih satellite to a high geostationary transfer orbit. Of this, 24 C-band transponders and 12 Extended C-band ones will serve Southeast Asia, including Indonesia's 17,508 islands.

Until now, SpaceX has retired rockets after two launches. 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 satellite, built by SSL, was commissioned in 2015 to replace Telkom-1, which failed a year ago in an incident affecting millions of consumers.

"The integration process of the rocket and satellite is done so now we're waiting for the launching time", said Telkom's Network & IT Solution (NITS) director Zulhelfi Abidin in Florida, Sunday, August 5.

The launch went on smoothly and saw the first stage of the 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket separate around 2.5 minutes after liftoff.

SpaceX is targeting about 30 total missions this year, up from a record 18 in 2017.