Indonesia's Telkom launches newest satellite

09 August, 2018, 08:41 | Author: Grady King
  • News					SpaceX nails first reuse of its next-gen Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket

Furthermore, while SpaceX's competitors have focused only on recovery of the first stage launcher, SpaceX has set a target date of 2022 for development a fully recoverable 150-ton payload rocket (including second stage), which would place them several years ahead of Chinese firms, if they are successful.

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

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off at 1:18 a.m. EDT (0518 GMT) Tuesday with the Merah Putih communications satellite.

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Based on SSL's 1300-series satellite platform, Merah Putih carries 60 C-band transponders with coverage across the Indonesian archipelago, and other parts of South and Southeast Asia. The satellite is expected to have a service lifetime of 15 or more years, ' as stated in a mission description.

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. In comparison, SpaceX spent 11 months between its first-ever launch of a previously flown Falcon 9 booster in March 2017 and that rocket's initial flight in April 2016.

Musk claims that the new Block 5 booster can be used for up to 100 launches with "moderate" refurbishment work, and costs only $50 million to launch. 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".

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"For instance, its grid fins, which are used for steering the rocket back from space, are made out of titanium, so they won't catch fire on the way back to Earth". Uncrewed tests of the full human-rated launch system still have to be completed, but each successful Block 5 launch gives NASA (and SpaceX) greater confidence.

Liftoff came on time at 1:19 a.m. ET Tuesday (10:19 p.m. PT Monday) after a trouble-free countdown at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The new satellite will replace Telkom 1, which failed in a mysterious debris-shedding event in geostationary orbit previous year. The spacecraft will be positioned in geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the equator at 108 degrees east longitude.

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

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