Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Science | By

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral

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.

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. Shortly after the launch, Musk told Ars Technica, "We are going to be very rigorous in taking this rocket apart and confirming our design assumptions to be confident that it is indeed able to be reused without taking it apart".

SpaceX is set to launch their Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Merah Putih communications satellite from Cape Canaveral to Tuesday, August 7. The first stage successfully landed on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, which was waiting in position in the Atlantic Ocean (a camera feed loss at the moment of landing created a bit of extra drama). Eastern from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida with Telkom Indonesia's Merah Putih satellite.

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 satellite will provide C-band telecommunications services over Indonesia and India, replacing the aging Telkom 1 communications craft, according to SpaceFlight Now. The satellite is owned by PT Telcom, the largest provider of telecommunications services in Indonesia.

With the third reuse now explicitly on the table for B1046 "later this year", Falcon 9 has broken a two-launch ceiling that long loomed over its older predecessors.

A flight readiness review Monday approved the continuation of final launch preps for Parker Solar Probe, which will fly closer to the sun than any previous mission.

APT Satellite of Hong Kong has an agreement to use capacity on Telstar 18 VANTAGE, which is also known as Apstar 5C.

Like this: