SpaceX's Falcon 9 launches Indonesian satellite

Enlarge Image The first Block 5 Falcon 9 lifts off. It will relaunch early Tuesday from Florida.                  SpaceX

Enlarge Image The first Block 5 Falcon 9 lifts off. It will relaunch early Tuesday from Florida. SpaceX

The Falcon 9 with the Block 5 launched from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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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.

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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The first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket after landing on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic Ocean.

It was only the fourth flight of an upgraded block 5 booster since the rocket's debut in May and the first launch and recovery of a previously flown block 5 - the same stage that helped launch a Bangladeshi satellite during its maiden flight three months ago.

Musk claims that the new Block 5 booster can be used for up to 100 launches with "moderate" refurbishment work, and costs only $50 million to launch. "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm that it does not need to be taken apart". The launch was used to deliver the Merah Putih satellite to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit. "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.

"Once we recover this booster, we plan to fly it a third time later this year", Lyons said. Built by Lockheed Martin, the satellite was 18 years old, operating three years past its design life.

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Merah Putih will be located at 108 degrees east longitude.

"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 satellite will provide Internet, telephone and cellular backhaul services, according to SSL.

Next up for SpaceX is launch of Telesat's Telstar 18 VANTAGE communications station from Cape Canaveral around August 17, following by launch of an Earth-observation satellite for Argentina.

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