SpaceX booster flies again with Indonesia satellite

News					SpaceX nails first reuse of its next-gen Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket

It was successfully recovered and spruced up for tonight's rerun of the GTO launch profile. The spacecraft - whose name translates as "red and white", a reference to the colors of the Indonesian flag - will become part of the network run by PT Telkom Indonesia, the nation's largest telecommunications provider. This was SpaceX's 15th launch so far this year and its 60th of a Falcon 9 rocket.

Following stage separation, Falcon 9's first stage, which previously flew on the first Block 5 mission in May 2018, successfully landed on SpaceX's "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Reportedly, SpaceX has boasted that the new Block 5 first stages should be able to launch 10 times with just inspections between landing and liftoff, and 100 times or more with some minor refurbishment involved.

This is the first time SpaceX has successfully reused a Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket, according to Space.com.

As noted by webcast host and engineer Lauren Lyons, the second successful drone ship recovery of Falcon 9 Booster 1046 (B1046) paves the way for the SpaceX's first-ever third launch of the same rocket.

Just three months separated today's mission from the first launch of the same Block 5 booster.

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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Musk had said the Block 5's first stage booster is created to fly 10 times "with no scheduled refurbishment" and with "moderate scheduled maintenance", Block 5 first stages could be capable of 100 missions. Though SpaceX hasn't released much about what they found when they did take the Block 5 apart, the quick turnaround between launches indicates that Block 5 seems to be living up to that promise.

The new satellite will replace the aging Telkom 1 satellite, which has been in operation since 1999.

The hope is to use it for 10 launches before it needs to be looked at and restored.

"Satellite plays a vital role in our telecommunications infrastructure", said Zulhelfi Abidin, Telkom's chief technology officer.

The next launch from Cape Canaveral is scheduled for Saturday at 3:33 a.m. EDT (0733 GMT), when a United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket is set to loft NASA's Parker Solar Probe on a seven-year mission to fly through the sun's corona.

SpaceX's next mission is set for launch no earlier than August 23 with the Telstar 18 VANTAGE communications satellite to provide broadcast, enterprise and government communications services over parts of India, China, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ocean region.

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