Indonesian communications satellite deployed in orbit by SpaceX

07 Août, 2018, 16:25 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Enlarge  A Block 5 variant of the Falcon 9 rocket launches

Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket for a second time early Tuesday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, according to a statement from the company.

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.

The landing marked the 28th successful recovery of a stage one booster by SpaceX.

SpaceX has successfully launched its previously used Block 5 variant of its Falcon 9 rocket.

Seconds before touchdown, four legs deployed and the rocket settled to an on-target landing.

SpaceX hasn't gone into detail about how hard it was to get the used Block 5 ready for reuse but SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk made Twitter comments last month that hinted it isn't an easy process.

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Pre-programmed commands gently nudged the satellite away from the rocket at the mission's 32-minute mark, and live views from the Falcon 9 rocket showed the Merah Putih spacecraft separating from the Falcon 9's second stage over Africa.

A view of Falcon 9 B1046.2's first stage engine plume expanding as the rocket reaches thinner air. If SpaceX has its way, this won't be the last mission for this Block 5, either. "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm that it does not need to be taken apart".

Officials from Telkom Indonesia expected the Telkom 1 satellite, which launched in 1999, to remain operational until Merah Putih's launch. Built by Lockheed Martin, the satellite was 18 years old, operating three years past its design life. The satellite is owned by PT Telcom, the largest provider of telecommunications services in Indonesia.

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. The new satellite will service Indonesia and Southeast Asia. That flight is scheduled for launch next month from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The two-hour launch window opens on Tuesday, August 7 at 1:18 a.m. EDT, or 5:18 UTC.

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