SpaceX Falcon 9 Lifts Off In Florida, Places Indonesian Satellite In Orbit


Launching at 1:18 a.m. ET, the flight carried communications satellite Merah Putih, which is named for the red and white colors of the Indonesian flag.

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

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

In 2008, SpaceX's Falcon 1 was the first privately-developed liquid fuel rocket to reach the Earth's orbiot and this launch was followed up with the Falcon 1 flight 5, the first of its kind to deliver a commercial satellite to our planet's orbit.

Tuesday's mission with the Merah Putih communications satellite, owned by Telkom Indonesia, was the first time SpaceX has re-flown a Block 5 booster.

Liftoff, from pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Other improvements include the grid fins, which are used for steering the rocket back from space. The third reuse will pave the way for the 4th, 5th, 10th, 50th ... reflight of individual Falcon 9 boosters, an absolutely integral requirement for SpaceX to achieve its ultimate goals of sustainably colonizing the solar system - starting with Mars - and thus "backing up" humanity.

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When was the Falcon 9 deployed?

Today's launch lofted the Merah Putih satellite to a high geostationary transfer orbit.

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.

The satellite is expected to be in service for 15 or more years. Its upgraded rocket allows the company to reuse a first-stage booster 10 times or more.

He continued to say that the Block 5's first stage booster had been created to fly 10 times "with no scheduled refurbishment" and with "moderate scheduled maintenance", ultimately being capable of 100 missions. If SpaceX has its way, this won't be the last mission for this Block 5, either. 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. "Ironically, we need to take it apart to confirm it does not need to be taken apart".

He said the Block 5's first stage booster is created to fly 10 times "with no scheduled refurbishment". SpaceX's previous offering, the Falcon 9 booster, could be reused twice and cost $60 million to launch.