SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch From Cape Canaveral Air Force Station


SpaceX only had a two-hour launch window that opened at 1:18 am EST Tuesday in which to complete the mission.

SpaceX launched Block 5 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The rocket's first stage made a successful landing on the "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship.

The landing was the second for this particular first stage, which also pulled one off on May 11 during the first-ever flight of a Block 5 Falcon 9.

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The company aims for the Block 5 rocket to be used as many as 10 or more times in a row, with little or no maintenance between launches. The number "3" may not immediately feel significant, but in the case of Falcon 9, the third reuse of a booster has always remained out of reach for older versions of the rocket, walled off by the exponentially greater cost and effort required to refurbish non-Block 5 rockets after their first reuse.

SpaceX was expected to conduct more invasive and time-consuming inspections on the first returned Block 5 booster, and three months after its first launch, the stage is ready to go again.

The 60-transponder, all C-band satellite separated from the rocket's upper stage nearly 32 minutes later.

But it was the first time SpaceX demonstrated reuse of a Block 5-generation booster, which the company plans to be its workhorse in the coming years, until a new, super-powerful rocket dubbed the BFR is ready for service. Block 5 is different, and that's by design. Space Systems Loral of Palo Alto, California, built the satellite ahead of schedule, according to Telkom Indonesia.

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An artist's impression of the Merah Putih communications satellite in orbit with its solar arrays and antennas deployed.

Merah Putih will be located at 108 degrees east longitude.

The rocket, using a first stage that flew in May with the Bangabandhu-1 satellite for Bangladesh, lifted off at 1:18 a.m.

If launch remains set for August 23, liftoff is scheduled for a window opening at 11:33 p.m. EDT (0333 GMT on August 24). The new satellite will service Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

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